A perspective on work and ageing from EU Agencies.

SW – 07/2017

Several EU Agencies including the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) have investigated various aspects of achieving sustainable work.  

Areas investigated

The results of their work have been summarised in a joint report. Part of their investigations were the reasons why, despite all efforts to keep workers in the workforce longer, a large proportion of them do not stay in employment until the official retirement age. In addition, the report looks at the different challenges associated with an ageing workforce and explores innovative approaches. The report describes the impact of long-term demographic developments and looks at participation in lifelong learning. Finally, the report calls for approaches to promote active ageing which ensure that older workers remain active, qualified and in employment.  


The EU Agencies concluded that achieving sustainable work depends on a range of interacting factors from different policy areas. For example, OSH strategies need to take account of the ageing workforce. A comprehensive policy should be based on a suitable risk prevention approach that addresses the whole workforce by taking a life-course approach. Support for small and medium-sized enterprises should be integrated into these strategies as a key focus by providing customised measures. The increase in long-term health problems in an ageing workforce must be tackled by strategies for rehabilitation and return to work which are supported simultaneously by different policy areas. 


The information provided by the four agencies is intended to be complementary and help support policy making. 


For more on this topic, see the DSV report from February.