Recent rises in public sector employee pension age have led to speculation over the impacts on employees and service delivery. This issue comes into sharp focus amongst Paramedics working in the UK's National Health Service. Paramedics will experience some of the largest increases in pension age. Legislative changes introduced in 2011, mean that NHS paramedics occupational pension age will rise to 68 years by 2028. Ambulance staff are exposed to high levels of psychological stress, working long hours as well as physiological demands associated with lifting, carrying and pushing patients, in the context of unprecedented increases in the demand for accident and emergency services. Key policy questions surround whether older paramedics have the physiological and psychological capacity to meet high job demands into their late 60’s; whether older workers should be expected to cope with the same job demands as their younger colleagues and what changes to the organisation of work might support the retention of older paramedics. The paper reports on initial findings form a 48 month research programme, funded by the UK Medical Research Council, that uses a case study approach to address these and related questions. The paper discusses the relative impact of headline push and pull influences that impact on older employee (50+) preparedness and capacity to remain in the paramedic role, and what changes to this choice architecture (e.g. job demands, work rate; working hours) might support employee retention.
|Publication status||Published - 11 Apr 2016|