Key words: employment of the elderly, retirement, modern technology, labor market
Employing persons older than 50 years is currently a hot topic. Employers’ requirements for employees are constantly increasing and keeping up with modern technologies and working methods is not always easy, especially for older employees. In effect, employees may face the necessity to leave the job whether voluntarily or not. An alternative to this is to start a new phase of life which might be the resting period. The most frequent idea of this is retirement. How do people perceive retirement? Should be allowed to people in retirement age to continue working or should be retirement the definitive end of one’s working life and the beginning of rest?
The Institute for Evaluation and Social Analyses (INESAN) conducted research entitled “Attitudes of Czech inhabitants towards the employment of elderly” in April 2013, aiming to identify and describe the attitudes and opinions of Czech citizens on the employment of people older than 50 years. The survey involved 1,207 interviews with respondents chosen by means of quota sampling in order to represent the adult population aged 18 to 64 in terms of gender, age, education, region and the settlement. The survey examined the citizens’ attitude towards the role of the state in encouraging the employment of older people, the citizens’ attitudes towards the support for employing older people and people in retirement age, and the abilities and skills of elderly persons in connection with their jobs.
Data analysis identified three principal groups of respondents: the first group include respondents who support retiring and not doing any other job in retirement (11 %). From their viewpoint, retirement is a phase of life for settling down, resting and spending the rest of one’s life with hobbies and leisure activities but not with a job. The second group of respondents takes an ambivalent stance to working in retirement. It accounts for one half of all the respondents. The respondents in this group often have mixed attitudes towards the employment of older people in retirement. While they consider retirement to be a period of resting, on the other hand they also see the positive effect of additional income to their household, if not indispensable. The last group (40 %) advocates employment at retirement age. These people perceive employment as a suitable means for maintaining their standard of life and keeping in touch with other people. Interesting is that is not possible to identify a typical a representative in any of the three groups in terms of socio-demographic characteristics (such as education, socio-economic status, place of residence, or political preferences).
The concept of retirement depends more or less on the person’s specific idea of what they want to do, on the priorities and goals that they have for the next phase of life, and on their economic and health possibilities. These ideas are strongly limited by the person’s specific circumstances and situation at the time of retiring. From this viewpoint, employing retired people should be perceived in a broader context and should not be reduced to the question of whether or not.