The P2 Group was recently engaged by an organisation after a line manager recognised early warning signs regarding a mature aged employee. The employee was invited to participate in a 60 minute functional capacity evaluation with an Occupational Therapist from P2 Group. The P2 Occupational Therapist met with the mature aged employee at the employee’s normal worksite and also reviewed the inherent requirements of the employee’s job. The P2 Occupational Therapist then consulted with the employee’s GP to discuss the employee’s capacity for work. Collectively, they determined;
- The employee could safely perform four of the five tasks of his job, however one task was deemed to be too physically demanding and could put the employee at risk of injury.
- The employee was becoming tired mid week which was impacting on his work and home life.
Together, with a representative from the organisation, the P2 Occupational Therapist consulted with the employee and agreed to implement the following supports;
- Scale down his working hours to Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, offering Wednesday as a rest day for the mature aged employee to recharge.
- A younger team member, who worked in the same department as the mature aged employee, was asked to help by performing the one task that was deemed to be too physically demanding.
- By working together, the younger employee would also learn the tribal knowledge – the knowledge known by the mature aged employee from his 20 years experience with the organisation, yet undocumented.
- A self managed health program was customised by the P2 Occupational Therapist to improve the mature aged employee’s work ability.
- The organisation also offered the mature aged employee home care to help him care for his ill partner at home.
The mature aged employee now has a plan to gradually retire over the next 3-5 years whilst remaining engaged in meaningful employment surrounded by his work mates.
Statistics for Employers
- People are living longer and fertility rates are reducing, which is resulting in more mature employees leaving the workforce than younger people entering the workforce.
- In the five years since June 2009, the number of people aged 65 years and over in Australia increased by 565,600 (20%) to reach 3.5 million people at June 2014. This accounted for 15% of the total Australian population. And more Australians than ever before are qualifying for birthday wishes from the Queen – a 12% increase.
- The Baby Boomers are now 50-70 years of age – the Ageing Workforce is now a reality!
- Only 21% of Australian employees over the age of 45 intend to retire before 65 years of age. A further 31% plan to retire in their late 60s and 11% after 70 years of age. Surprisingly 37% have not considered when they will retire.
- The proportion of 65-69 year old Australian employees employed part-time increased from 30% in 2005 to 49% in 2013 and the employees over 70 years old employed part-time increased from 38% in 2005 to 57% in 2013.
- Of those transitioning into part time work, 75% cited personal reasons including caring for elderly people, caring for children, own ill health / injury and social reasons.
Let’s start the conversation
Organisations that manage their ageing workforce through a reactive process will find that workplace productivity is slowing, WorkCover Insurance Premiums are increasing and rehabilitation for these individuals is ongoing.
Are your employees ready to retire? Have they considered the changes in their financial circumstances, lifestyle, self image and purpose?
As the employer;
- Are you ready for them to retire?
- Do they have tribal knowledge that needs to be captured?
- Are you confident that the labour requirements and HR systems currently in practice can cope with a rising proportion of mature employees?
- Should they be offered part time employment?
If an ageing workforce is managed through the P2 Work Life Continuance Methodology, you can increase productivity, enhance employee wellbeing and reduce WorkCover costs. P2 Occupational Therapists are able to assist workplaces turn a problematic ageing workforce into an opportunity by;
- defining an individual’s functional capacity
- defining the inherent requirements of the job, matching their capacity to the demands of the job and
- consider the unique interaction between the employee, their environment and their role to identify sustainable solutions.
To find out more contact Ben Thornton for a private discussion on 0439 819 688 today.
* Statistics from Australian Bureau of Statistics