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The growing discontents of older British employees: Extended working life at risk from quality of working life

A key component of sustainable welfare policy is the extension of working life (EWL). Currently this aim is chiefly pursued by financial policies, neglecting the potential role of quality of working life (QWL) in attracting people to remain employed. National survey data for Britain in the years 1992, 2006 and 2012 demonstrate deteriorating overall job attitude among older employees, following the changed competitive and technological conditions of the 1990s. The investigation goes on to diagnose aspects of the work situation implicated in adverse experience of work among older employees. Work demands and the nature of work emerge as key areas of discontent, with additional evidence of insecurity, and dissatisfaction with pensions, emerging over the recent recession. Policies potentially addressing QWL, with particular attention to the role of employers, are reviewed in the conclusion.