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Over-60s put in more of a shift when on an irregular pattern than those half their age, study finds

Over 60s put in more of a shift when on an


Proof Baby Boomers DO work harder: Over-60s put in more of a shift when on an irregular pattern than those half their age, study finds

  • It found older staff put in close to equivalent of an extra working week a month
  • Those close to retirement age of 65 are on average working 30 shifts a month 
  • Those in their thirties were found to work on average only 26 shifts per month

Employees in their sixties work harder than those half their age, according to a report.

It found older staff who work irregular shifts put in close to the equivalent of an extra working week a month than those in their early thirties.

Those who are close to the traditional retirement age of 65 are on average working 30 shifts a month – with many sometimes working two a day to earn more. Those in their thirties were found to work on average 26 shifts a month.

The findings, based on more than 350,000 employees, suggest the mass movement of older workers into the economy has been a boon to employers and a major boost to the earnings of those close to retirement.

Employees in their sixties work harder than those half their age, according to a report (file photo)

Employees in their sixties work harder than those half their age, according to a report (file photo)

They also likely reflect the demand for labour in the NHS and the care system during the pandemic.

The growth in numbers of those working in their sixties and seventies, enabled by greater health and life expectancy and helped by legal changes such as the abolition of compulsory retirement, has come at a time when critics have accused an older generation of living high on the profits from property inflation and old-fashioned gold-plated pensions, while younger people struggle.

Deputy, a firm specialising in workforce management and which compiled the report, said employers could improve the performance and interest levels of low-paid young people by raising their wages and providing regular and more reliable shifts.

Jobs which use zero-hours contracts have been regularly condemned by critics as they do not guarantee work.

The study was based on hours worked by people of different age groups across healthcare, hospitality, retail and service industries, all of which employ large numbers of workers on irregular shift patterns.

It identified a Baby Boomer group of workers, aged between 57 and 75, who typically work about 253 hours a month. The millennial group, with an average age of 31, typically put in around 213 hours a month.

It found older staff who work irregular shifts put in close to the equivalent of an extra working week a month than those in their early thirties (file photo)

It found older staff who work irregular shifts put in close to the equivalent of an extra working week a month than those in their early thirties (file photo)

Middle-aged workers, with an average age 47, fall into a middle band, the Shiftwork Economy Report found, with 28 shifts a month adding up to 239 hours.

A younger generation of workers, with an average age of 22, work less intensively – with just 18 shifts and 139 hours a month. This is most likely due to many of them still being students. David Kelly at Deputy said: ‘Health and social care workers of all ages have worked incredibly hard to look after our nation in the past 18 months.

‘These figures show that we need to distribute the workload more evenly…

‘One way to make these essential roles more attractive to young people is to treat our shift workers with more respect, pay them fairly and provide them with more protection and predictability of when they will be working.’

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