Reluctance Towards Older Workers In Slovenia

Main Article Content

Jana Znidarsic
Vlado Dimovski

Keywords

ageing workforce, age management drivers, reluctance towards older employees, human capital, active ageing approach within Slovenian enterprises, age management

Abstract

The population ageing that goes hand in hand with ageing of the workforce is no longer an issue for a distant future, its impact is already felt on European labor markets – including Slovenian – and will manifest itself more prominently in the next years. These profound demographic changes come at a time that developed countries are increasingly involved in globalization processes, accompanied with the trend of becoming knowledge economies, and all these at a time of economic crisis, which puts those challenges into new dimension. Trying to find solutions that would mitigate possible negative consequences of population and workforce ageing – one of the most discussed policy options is to promote that older employees work longer, even after the age of 65. Keeping workers longer in the workforce is an increasingly popular labor market policy in European (developed) countries to combat demographic trends such as the ageing of its workforce. We live longer, we have fewer children, so we have to work longer seems to be the current policy motto. But this scenario is not an easy one. Skepticism can be found on both sides, either between older employees or between employers. The aim of this paper is to highlight the development of age management within Slovenian companies where the practice of age management is still in its early stage. Thus, we also shed light on some relevant reasons for reluctance towards older employees from the viewpoint of employers. However, the main contribution of the paper lies in offering some reasonable suggestion – how the skepticism concerning older employees can be reduced. This can only be done by enabling older workers to remain productive, innovative, flexible, and willing to invest in advancing their knowledge, skills and competences. By implementing active aging policies at workplace, the employers can play an exceptional role in maintaining or even enriching human capital of older employees.

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