Managing employees beyond age 65: from the margins to the mainstream?

David Lain, Wendy Loretto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Purpose: Against a backdrop of legislative and policy changes, this article assesses the extent to which the over-65 age-group is moving from the margins to the mainstream of UK employment. It aims to fill a gap in HR research and practice which, it is argued, has paid relatively little attention to the over-65s. Design: The analysis draws on three waves of the Labour Force Survey (2001, 2008 and 2014), to explore the extent to which organisational, occupational and sectoral marginalisation of the over- 65s has changed in the 21st Century. Findings: The results show that the share of 65-69 year olds working as employees doubled between 2001 and 2014, primarily because long-term established employees worked longer. Overrepresentations of lower-level ‘Lopaq' occupations reduced, and over-65s became more integrated across occupations and sectors. Research implications: More research is needed to understand the factors driving the steady move from the margins to the mainstream (for example, LFS does not measure pensions), and future research on the older workforce should automatically include workers in this age-group. Practical implications: The discussion considers the implications for managerial practice, in a context of increasingly age-diverse workforces. Originality/Value: This article addresses a gap in research into later-life working and also demonstrates the ways in which the nature of employment among the over-65s is changing, thereby challenging some of the assumptions about those who work into later life and how they are - or should be- managed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-664
Number of pages19
JournalEmployee Relations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • working past 65
  • age-diversity
  • marginalisation
  • older workers


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