Skip to content

Journal Article

Older age and ill-health: links to work and worklessness

Authors

Publication date

2013

Summary

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide insights on the relationship between health and employment in older age.
Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative methods are used with some additional quantitative analysis to explore emergent themes. The qualitative analysis is based on interviews with 56 men and women between the ages of 50 and 68. This part of the study uses the respondents’ own words to explain how physical and mental ill-health has impacted on labour market participation and vice versa. The quantitative analysis uses data from the British Household Panel Study and multivariate techniques.
Findings – The research highlights the complexity, individuality and two-way causality underlying the relationships between health, work and worklessness in older age. The analysis also suggests that type of job and workplace conditions matter. The negative impact of the onset of ill-health on employment participation only appears to be accentuated by age for women.
Research limitations/implications – The two data sets are not directly comparable.
Social implications – Planned rises in the age at which state pensions are payable need to be accompanied by policies that improve the health of older people and changes in workplace practices that facilitate longer working lives.
Originality/value – The paper has a specific focus on the relationship between ill-health and employment in older age; uses qualitative methods to draw out the main issues and quantitative analysis to draw additional insights and make some comparisons with younger cohorts.

Published in

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

Volume and page numbers

6 , 54 -65

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17538351311312330

ISSN

16

Subjects

Older People, Labour Market, and Health

Notes

Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only

#521497


Research home

Research home

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest