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Gender, Ageing and Extended Working LifeCross-National Perspectives$
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Áine Ní Léime, Debra Street, Sarah Vickerstaff, Clary Krekula, and Wendy Loretto

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447325116

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447325116.001.0001

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The United Kingdom – a new moral imperative: live longer, work longer

The United Kingdom – a new moral imperative: live longer, work longer

(p.175) Nine The United Kingdom – a new moral imperative: live longer, work longer
Gender, Ageing and Extended Working Life

Sarah Vickerstaff

Wendy Loretto

Policy Press

The drift of government policy affecting older workers in the UK has been focused on encouraging individual responsibility for working longer and saving more, often with an idealised 'adult worker' in mind; an individual devoid of family context and family demands and accumulated advantages or disadvantages. As a result the policies have a differential impact on women and men and diverse incomes groups and are likely to lead to greater inequality between older workers. The focus on the individual (the supply side in the labour market) also takes emphasis away from the problem of demand: whether employers want to retain or recruit older workers. There is an increasingly strong moral assertion that to live longer should mean to work longer, but research demonstrates that those most likely to be unemployed before state pension age are out of work because of lack of job opportunities, poor health or caring responsibilities.

Keywords:   Individual responsibility, state pension age, family and caring responsibilities, ill-health, gendered effects

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