European Economic and Social Committee, Trèves Building, 74, rue de Trèves, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Date: Thursday 20 June, 13:30 for a 14:00 start - 16.45 with refreshments to follow. (PLEASE NOTE REVISED START TIME)

A private policy debate featuring Oscar Vargas (Eurofound), David Lain (University of Brighton), Clare Talbot (Department for Work and Pensions, UK) and Rebecca Taylor MEP, with other speakers to be confirmed.

Hosted by Maureen O’Neill (President of the Social Affairs Section, European Economic and Social Committee)

Chaired by David Sinclair (ILC)

Please allow time to get through security and ensure you bring a form of photo identification with you on the day. You will not be permitted entry into the EESC buildings without this.

Eventbrite - Working longer: an EU perspective

As Europeans continue to live longer than ever, and are increasingly living healthier lives, many are also able to carry on working for longer. However, there remain a number of barriers facing those individuals who wish to stay in employment, including unfavourable working conditions, age discrimination and forced retirement.

Over the last 20 years, EU Member states have seen some rises in the number of older workers. This trend has been encouraged by the Europe 2020 strategy which sets a target for Member states to achieve an employment rate of 75% of the population aged 20-64, of which much of the increase must come from the older age groups, where employment rates are very low.

Concerns around the low engagement rates of older people have been highlighted by many parties, including the European Commission in their Green and White Paper on pensions, commenting that:

Unless people, as they live longer, also stay longer in employment, either pension adequacy is likely to suffer or an unsustainable rise in pension expenditure may occur.

(Green Paper: Towards adequate, sustainable and safe European pension systems. 2010)

It is of vital importance to the financial sustainability of Member states as well as for the wellbeing of older people wishing to work for longer that this issue is prioritised and knowledge of good practices distributed across Europe.

This debate will inform an ILC report which will:

  •         Examine recent trends in policy supporting longer working lives at a European level
  •         Explore how the EU27 are responding to the challenge of supporting older workers
  •         Consider what good practice around working longer exists across Europe
  •         Set out the role for European institutions and nation states in supporting employers and employees around working longer.

A draft report will be made available to delegates before the event, and ILC will produce a final report incorporating the debate on the day (comments of participants will be non-attributable).

The event will take the form of a panel discussion featuring speakers from European institutions, experts from Member states, and academics, followed by contributions from the audience.  The discussion, which will take place in English, will begin at 14:30 and finish at 16:45.  Refreshments will be available before and afterwards.

Eventbrite - Working longer: an EU perspective