New Middle Age calls for effective strategies applicable across the generations to build age equality and enhance cross-generational awareness.
An Inter-generational Approach
Inter-generational strategies can increase effectiveness and build cross-generational awareness. Policies which make a special case for those in New Middle Age, or any generation, risk further embedding age related discrimination. But solutions may need to be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the 50 to retirement generation if their contribution is to be fully realised.
- Public policy should aim to develop frameworks of legislation and good practice which offer general benefit but which can be tailored to the requirements of specific groups, such as the 50 to retirement generation, with particularly beneficial effect.
- An inter-generational approach is efficient as it offers one set of solutions which can be applied in different situations. It is also more equitable and has the potential to build inter-generational awareness as people of different ages see their various needs addressed by the same solutions.
- Much good practice already exists around supporting young people and increasing the economic participation of groups under-represented in the workforce. These approaches could equally benefit the 50 to retirement generation.
- Strategies developed to meet specific issues relating to New Middle Age have the potential to offer solutions for those in other generations where similar issues may be less apparent, for example relating to balancing work and care.
Combatting inequalities across and between all generations is essential to building an age equal society.
- Legislation should be implemented and enforced, and updated where necessary, to protect those in New Middle Age, and across all generations, against discrimination on the basis of their age, and where age discrimination is combined with other factors including gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity or disability.
- People in New Middle Age should have access to fairly paid, flexible employment, with development opportunities, properly reflecting their skills and experience – just like everyone else.
- Fair treatment in the recruitment process is essential if the 50 to retirement generation are to be able to move from one job to another, or find new employment after redundancy or a career break.
- Socio-economic and regional variations in opportunities are a matter of concern and should be examined further.
- The tribunal system should provide an effective mechanism for redress, including for cases of combined discrimination. It is important that costs are not a deterrent to anyone wishing to pursue a claim.