Does a raised mandatory retirement age influence managers' attitudes to older workers?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSolem PE, Salomon R, TERJESEN HC. Does a raised mandatory retirement age influence managers' attitudes to older workers?. Nordisk välfärdsforskning | Nordic Welfare Research. 2020;5(2):122-136 https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.2464-4161-2020-02-05
As a part of an international extending working life trend, Norway recently raised the mandatory retirement age (MRA) from 70 to 72 years. This article discusses possible effects on managers’ attitudes and behaviour towards older workers. This is of particular interest because employers’ federations and central unions opposed the reform as they feared considerable negative consequences both for older workers and for employers. Data are collected by mixed methods. The Norwegian Senior Policy Barometer for the years 2013 through 2018 interviewed managers in 600 private sector companies each year. In addition, qualitative interviews were performed with managers and HR directors in 19 companies with employees 67 years and older. The results indicate that the fear of negative effects was exaggerated. We find no clear changes in the years around the implementation of the new MRA in the rather positive conceptions of older workers, in the more modest desire to recruit older workers, or in the reluctance to call applicants above 58 years of age in for interview. The government launched the reform to, in the long run, encourage higher employment in older age groups and to eliminate age discrimination in working life. To confirm or refute such changes requires further studies in the years to come.