Predicted population boom will impact UK businesses

Companies in the UK need to prepare for the implications of an increasingly ageing population, with employees working for longer and caring for elderly relatives.

Predicted ageing population will impact UK businesses
The recent release of National Population Projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the UK population will increase by three million to almost 70 million over the coming decade.Most of the population growth will be seen in England, where a five per cent rise is expected in the next decade, compared to 3.7 per cent growth for Northern Ireland, 1.8 per cent in Scotland and 0.6 per cent in Wales.An increasingly ageing population will have implications for the sandwich generation – those who are caring for their elderly parents, as well as supporting their children. 

People will be living and working for longer

Anne Willmot, age campaign director at Business in the Community, a charity and the Prince’s responsible business network, says, “The number of people aged over 85 doubling by 2044 will bring about unprecedented societal change."The impact of people living longer will impact not just the NHS and care sectors but also businesses of every size. The idea that we will be able to retire in our early or mid-sixties will, for many, soon be a pipe dream. “With people healthier for longer and needing to maintain a decent level of income to support themselves, a sizeable percentage will want or need to remain in the workplace beyond state pension age.”

The effects of an ageing population on business

Companies with globally mobile employees will need to consider how this may affect relocating employees with older dependent relatives, as well as employees who wish to work beyond retirement age.Ms Willmot adds, “Businesses will also have to adapt to the fact that more employees will need to be part-time carers as their parents live longer. We’re currently working with companies to get a million older workers into the workplace, but far too many businesses continue to sleepwalk their way into a serious crisis."
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“We’re urging companies to be transparent and publish the number and percentage of older people they employ to show that they are tackling the issue of ageing workforces straight on," continues Ms Willmot. "Responsible businesses are already preparing for both the challenges and opportunities that an ageing population will bring, and putting in place age-friendly policies to make the most of the deep structural change emerging in the UK workforce."Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory