More people over age of 70 choosing to keep working

Richard Henderson, from Selkirk, is still working as a lorry driver at the age of 83
Richard Henderson, from Selkirk, is still working as a lorry driver at the age of 83
Share this article
0
Have your say

Record numbers of people over the age of 70 are deciding against retirement and continue to work, a new study suggests.

Record numbers of people over the age of 70 are deciding against retirement and continue to work, a new study suggests.

Research by jobs site Rest Less indicated that almost half a million of those over 70 are in full or part-time employment, an increase of 285,000 over the past decade.

The figures mean that almost one in 12 people in their 70s are working, compared with one in 22 a decade ago, said the report.

There are also more than 53,000 over-80s who are working in the UK today, 75 per cent of whom are working part-time.

This includes Richard Henderson, 83, from Selkirk, who was named as the World’s Oldest HGV Driver by Guinness World Records. Mr Henderson had his HGV licence renewed on 2 August 2018 and continues to work for Elliot Henderson and Son Ltd as a driver.

The great-grandfather-of-two works for his son Elliot, who is 59. He learnt to drive a tractor aged 13, before getting a licence to ride a motorbike aged 16, and the following year got a licence to drive a car.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said: “Whilst we know that the over-50s in general have been the driving force behind the UK’s impressive employment growth in recent years, our deeper analysis shows the hard work and significant economic contribution made by the rapidly growing numbers of over-70s in the workplace.

“Work patterns are changing – gone are the days of working hard five days a week for four and a half decades before suddenly stopping.

“We can see from our analysis that part-time work is growing in popularity amongst the over-70s both male and female.”

Significantly more men aged 70 and over are working full-time compared with a decade ago. This figure has more than trebled in the last decade to 113,513 in 2019, up from 36,302 in 2009 – an increase of 213 per cent.

The number of women aged 70 and above who are still working has also more than doubled in a decade.

Today, there are 175,000 women aged 70 and above who are working compared with only 76,000 in 2019 – a 131 per cent increase.

There are more than 53,000 over-80s who are working in the UK today, 75 per cent of whom are working part-time.

Patrick Thomson from the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “With fewer younger people starting work to replace those set to retire in future years, along with uncertainty over Brexit and worsening skills and labour shortages, it is vital that employers wake up and adopt age-friendly practices like flexible working to enable people to work for as long as they want.

“The face of Britain’s workforce is changing dramatically. We can’t afford to ignore our older workers.”