The ageing workplace

The effects of workplace health and discrimination on an ageing workforce

Thursday, 7 June 2018


  • Dr Sheena Johnson, Occupational Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology, Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Paul McGarry, Strategic Lead, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub and Age-friendly Manchester
  • Dr Ricardo Twumasi, Lecturer in Organisational Psychology, Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Dr Chris Ball, Ageing Workforce, Research Fellow Newcastle University (special guest for panel discussion)

The next seminar of the MICRA Seminar Series was held on 7 June in the Jean McFarlane Building.

The population in the UK is getting older with 18% aged 65 and over and 2.4% aged 85 and over (ONS 27/07/17); this change in demographic is leading to an increase average age of the workforce and having a profound effect on the needs of the workplace.   This relates to both the health and safety needs and an ageing workforce, but also in the discrimination present in current hiring practices.   The transport sector provides an excellent example to how the changing health and  safety needs of a workforce need to be address,  for the work that professional drivers do can be detrimental to health, and health and safety performance in the sector is worse than average.  

Research conducted by Sheena Johnson with the University of Manchester and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), provides knowledge of the changing world of work and associated health impacts, as drivers work into older age.  Her research project will build and develop a network of transport sector firms, unions and industry representatives. This network, entitled ‘Age, Health and Professional Drivers’, will produce and disseminate industry led best practice guidelines relating to age and wellbeing.

Alternatively, Ricardo Twumasi’s research explores age discrimination in hiring practices and how this affects the need for an extended working life; this research was part of a large four year project led by Professor Cheryl Haslam at Loughborough University. Ricardo’s research found that that older job seekers face significant barriers to securing employment, which require age specific support to overcome, including potential age discrimination.

The findings of this project have been turned into a series of representative videos

Finally Paul McGarry will outline how Greater Manchester (GM) is developing a new approach to supporting older workers, both in and out of work.   Setting out the Age-friendly GM strategy’s ambitions, Paul will outline the challenges for policy makers and examples of good practice from across GM.

Event outputs