Ageing and Employment Policies/Vieillissement et politiques de l'emploi: Sweden 2003

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With rapidly aging populations, old-age pension reform and early-retirement schemes alone may not suffice to provide adequate employment opportunities. Additional measures will clearly be needed on wage scales, job discrimination, skills acquisition, and working conditions. Attitudes will also have to change about working later in life. Little is known, however, about what countries have been or should be doing on those issues. This report on Sweden begins a series of around 20 OECD country reports intended to fill the gap. Each contains a survey of the main employment barriers confronting older people, an assessment of existing remedial measures, and policy recommendations for further action.


Removing Demand

Side Barriers

Demand-side factors are the other side of the equation explaining lower employment rates for older people than for prime-age people. In general, employers’ willingness to hire older people depends on factors such as their perceptions about the adaptability and productivity of older people, and the wages they have to pay for older workers relative to younger ones. Moreover, institutional settings such as employment protection legislation may affect hiring and firing practices of employers with respect to older workers. Therefore, this chapter examines employers’ attitudes to older people and how these might reflect age discrimination or higher labour costs for older workers. It also discusses whether employment legislation aiming to protect older workers may in fact be a hindrance to their employment...


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