Introduction While ageing workers (AWs) (≥55 years) constitute a growing portion of the labour force, they tend to be absent for health reasons more often than other workers. However, implementing mechanisms that facilitate their staying at work implies first understanding the contributing factors and dynamics.
Methods A multimethod approach was used, combining a literature review and a series of group discussions with stakeholders in work disability. First, a rapid review of mixed studies (qualitative, quantitative, mixed) was carried out between 2006 and 2016 using main databases (e.g.: CINAHL, PsycInfo, Sociological Index). We identified 30 articles on AWs and various causes of disability, then analysed the article content using a predefined extraction grid. Four focus groups representing various stakeholders (n=35) concerned by the ageing of workers in Quebec, Canada, were formed (insurers, employers, unions, health professionals). The discussions were transcribed and content analysis was performed.
Results Combined results revealed that the relationship between ageing and the likelihood of staying at work is largely influenced by the interactions between workers’ personal systems and the organisation’s (workplace) system. The gap between workers’ representations, capacities and resources, on the one hand, and employers’ expectations and requirements and the conditions they provide, on the other, significantly impacts the likelihood of AWs staying at work.
Discussion The likelihood of AWs staying at work appears closely linked to the workplace’s dynamic capacity to take into account their specific health conditions and needs. This presupposes, however, recognition of AWs’ added value, in a market characterised by ever-growing concern with maximising performance. The actions associated with the different systems (e.g. compensation and healthcare systems) also need to be harmonised to maximise the stay-at-work potential of this segment of the labour force.
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