Absence and Disability Management Practices for an Aging Workforce
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The goal of Disability and Absence Management programming is to limit absence, control costs, and retain workers to maintain a productive workforce. This can include the development of supportive policies (e.g. flexible work options), manager and employee education, supportive benefit programs, return to work programs, among others. Increasingly, older workers have become a group of interest among Absence and Disability Management professionals, in part because many baby boomers are forgoing retirement and working longer. Projections suggest that by 2020 those 55 and over could account for 25% of workers. This shift is especially important given that disability prevalence increases with age – as the workforce ages, organizations will increasingly need to ensure their programming supports older workers. During the fall and winter of 2012-13, Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute and the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) collaborated on a survey and key informant interviews with DMEC members and conference attendees to learn more about what organizations are doing to respond to and prepare for an aging workforce.