Please note: The NHS Staff Council agreed the NHS Working Longer Group has fulfilled its purpose and has therefore formally ended the role of the group. The resources produced by the group will remain available for organisations to use. The NHS Staff Council and its sub groups will take forward any future work.
Task and finish groups
In November 2014, the WLSG established a number of task and finish groups to deliver specific pieces of work from the work programme. Each task and finish group reports directly to the WLSG.
'Deep dives' research
During September to November 2015, the WLG visited 11 NHS organisations across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to gather intelligence on how an ageing workforce and the issues of working longer affects their organisation. The research has now concluded and below is a short summary of some of the themes that arose during the visits:
The information gathered through this research has been presented to the steering group and will inform future work and resources produced by the group. We have also published a blog about the research and it's key findings.
- There is a desire to open up conversations about career and retirement plans between line managers and staff.
- There are currently large variations in the use of flexibilities such as retire and return or step down. These should be utilised more to support staff to work longer.
- There is a demand for national data to help organisations benchmark. Data is often collected but not analysed.
- There is a perceived difference in the duties carried out by different age groups.
Improving your understanding of the NHS Pension Scheme: Information for HR teams
Over 70 per cent of NHS staff will not be able to access full pension benefits until they are in their mid to late 60s. Our information pack is designed to help HR teams fully understand the NHS Pension Scheme and it’s provisions from a strategic workforce planning perspective, so that they can support and enable staff to work to a later retirement age. The information pack is easy to download and can be used as a reference point or as training and induction resources for HR teams.
Age awareness toolkit for employers
Our age awareness toolkit is designed to help employers work in partnership with trade union colleagues to create organisational awareness of the opportunities and challenges associated with an ageing workforce. The toolkit includes resources to help employers:
Early retirement reduction buy out (ERRBO) assessment framework
- raise awareness of the issues working longer presents through a range of engagement
- assess their organisational readiness for an ageing workforce
- identify priority actions for their organisation to take forward in order to prepare for an ageing workforce
- take a clearer look at the age of their workforce now and in the future at an organisational, departmental and team level to help predict trends.
The 2015 NHS Pension Scheme provides members and employers with the opportunity to pay additional contributions to buy out, or reduce, the actuarial reduction that would be applied to a members pension if they were to retire before their normal pension age. This group has been looking at the circumstances in which ERRBO might be used and seeking an understanding of what employers need to know about ERRBO. If a need is identified, the group will look to develop information to help employers implement ERRBO fairly and equitably. To find out more about ERRBO, please view our flexible retirement guides.
Call for evidence submissions review
The WLG ran a national call for evidence in 2013 to gather information on the impact of a raised retirement age in the NHS. This group has reviewed the submissions and identified common themes. The information gathered has been used to inform the other task and finish groups and the WLG more widely. The work of this group has completed.
Promoting employment opportunities
This group brings together and will focus on the employment opportunities that an ageing workforce presents. The group aims to develop resources on career pathway discussions (including redeployment), the positive opportunities of flexible working , promoting management development conversations and developing and signposting to staff facing support materials.