Ageing and the Public Service

Human Resource Challenges

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Government workforces are ageing even more rapidly than the rest of society. This raises specific challenges and opportunities. An ageing public service increases fiscal burdens while decreasing immediate capacities to deliver services. In the long run, however, it also offers a strategic opportunity to downsize the public sector workforce if necessary and to change employment conditions and the management of government employees where this is deemed reasonable. This book reviews the experience of 9 OECD member countries in this field. It presents some conclusions on strategies that countries could implement in order to adjust their human resource policies to the wider ageing challenge. 

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Ageing and the Public Service in Portugal

In 2000, Portugal was among the countries with the greatest proportion of elderly people, as measured by the percentage of the total population aged 65 and over, as well as with the greatest share of public service personnel scheduled for imminent retirement. Nevertheless, Portugal has not developed an ageing policy for the public service, per se. Instead, political attention has been focused on attempting to control the growth of the public service as well as on weak economic growth and the resulting increase in public debt.

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