An “Aging Workforce Strategy” is needed to stop people quitting before retirement and tackle UK employees’ staff shortage headaches, argues a new report. It says thousands of over 50s in poor health have left jobs early because of “ageism and ableism”, plus insufficient support from their employers or the NHS. Compared with before the pandemic around 100,000 people aged 50-64 have quit for long term health reasons, most citing stress, mental issues or musculoskeletal problems that have caused them to cut their hours or stop working. But the report, published by cross-party think tank Demos in partnership with the Physiological Society says most have not done so from choice. One participant in the study said: “My decision to leave work was devastating. I was resentful about having to leave, but felt I had no other option.” Among the report’s recommendations are better access to occupational health services, more investment in rsearch to weaken the link between ill health and older age and the appointment of an “Older People’s Commissioner” to push through the strategy .

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