Departmental Bulletin Paper Elderly workers in Japan: the need for a new approach

Debroux, Philippe

40pp.19 - 37 , 2016-03-20 , 創価大学経営学会
Aging of workforce is a challenge for society, public authorities, and organizations. Employeesstay longer in work-life and have a longer life-span after retirement. Public debt going alongside withpopulation aging exerts a strong pressure on the whole social security system, but especially on thebalance of the pension schemes. So, policy makers are looking to higher employment rates for olderpeople and delayed retirement as means of supporting social security systems. However, efforts toprolong or sustain working life are increasingly understood in a broader and deeper perspective. In Japan as in Western Europe many people are not only able to work longer but they prefer andchoose to do so. Both public authorities and business acknowledge that to make the most of theexpertise and experience of older workers may be an important factor of economic growth andsocial stability (Bussollo and alii 2015). In view of Japan efforts for more than three decades, itcannot be denied that older workers have been high on the policy agenda in Japan. But it may nowbe time to examine how the traditional win-win way of managing elderly employment is evolvingunder the impact of demographics, the socio-cultural context, the regulatory environment and thesubsequent need for changes in the social security system, and if new approaches should not benecessary.

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