• Age diversity and managing extended working lives

    Widespread demographic changes indicate an ever-aging population and the default retirement age (DRA) was removed in 2011. Our work aims to provide resources to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to devise policy practices to manage age diversity and extended working lives within their workforce.

    Research developed with practitioners that puts real world impact at its heart, has been produced by Centre Director and Assistant Director, Professors Manfredi and Vickers. Their evidence has helped form equality policy and practice for the management of human resources in Higher Education, both nationally and internationally. The findings have been applied in personnel training initiatives and used to develop best practise guidance for employers, as well as influencing legal thinking in the area of age discrimination and retirement. Law firms have used the research finding in their briefings to clients and in preparation for cases. The work has also been disseminated via academic articles.

    Read about our work


  • Extending working lives has become a major issue in dealing with global population ageing over the past decade. One of the key objectives of the research investigating perceptions of HR-Specialists and Line Managers in selecting new employees was to explore how people make decisions and to identify ways of improving decision-making in HR-selection. We have now completed the data analysis and would like to share our knowledge and discuss relevant recommendations and how these can be transferred into practice. We have organised a workshop for which the details can be found here.

      (Project funded by Central Research Fund: Competitive Funding Call 2015, GBP 13,347.50)

    Research funded by the British Academy and executed by Dr Karen Handley, Reader in the Department of Business and Management at Oxford Brookes, considered choices in late careers. 

    Academics from Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Sweden and the UK have met with lawyers and senior HR managers in a two-day symposium organised by the Centre for Diversity Policy Practice and Research. The discussions focussed on the Challenges of Active Ageing in the Workplace with a view to determining the barriers and future strategies.

    Vocational identity is to a large extent driven by individual career aspirations, which reflect individual career-related intentions, goals and motivational elements during late career development. The aim of this research project is to identify the factors that guarantee successful career transitions in later life. Based on quantitative research methods (e.g., experiments, vignette studies, questionnaires), we develop and test psychological theories in real world business settings to ensure its applicability and value for individuals, organisations, and the society.
    The aging workforce will be one of the main challenges for organisations in the future. In this context, the retention of knowledge from retiring and highly-skilled older workers has been identified as key factor for organisational functioning. So far, research on intergenerational knowledgetransfer in organisations is scarce. In cooperation with the Leuphana University of Lüneburg we have, therefore, initiated a new research project investigating the factors that influence successful intergenerational knowledge transfer in organisations. Bridging the gap between research and practice facilitates finding solutions for theupcoming challenges in business and society
  • Previous work

  • Workshops were conducted across the UK with senior HR mangers and equality specialists, to help them develop policy in response to age equality legislation.

    This project received funding from HEFCE under its Leadership Governance and Management scheme and was undertaken in partnership with the Equality Challenge Unit. An advisory group supported the project and included representatives from universities’ Human Resources, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE), Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the trade unions, UCU and UNISON.

    The resources produced by this project are free to all Higher Education Institutions as well as other Educational establishments and interested parties.

    This report presents the findings from a survey undertaken in 2010 and from previous research carried out in the HE sector about levels of staff’s requests to work past the age of 65 and about managing extended working lives. It provides information to allow HEIs to take an evidence-based approach to develop policies and practices in this area.

    This guide is aimed at Human Resource Management Practitioners and Equality Specialists. It presents a range of information and resources to help HEIs develop their own best practice in managing flexible retirement and extended working lives. There are two versions of this guide: An extended on-line version

    Workshop PowerPoint presentations and Case Studies

    These resources were used in a series of regional workshops to explore the implications for the management of human resources of extending working lives, including the use of employer-justified retirement ages:

    These resources can be used for training purposes to build management capability to manage extended working lives.

  • Get involved: join us

    Would you like to become a friend of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice? We are grateful to our Centre friends for their support, which covers a vast range of activities.

    How you can help

    • Speak at one of our conferences or share your expertise at events
    • Sponsor an event or research project
    • Provide access to an organisation for research purposes
    • Provide prizes for best students’ dissertations on equality issues
    • Mentor our students
    • Sponsor a PhD student


  • Please contact us to find out more

    Join our mailing list by emailing cdprp@brookes.ac.uk
    Follow us on Twitter @cdprp

    Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice
    Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane
    Oxford
    OX3 0BP
    Tel: +44 (0)1865 488108

    Director

    Dr Anne Laure Humbert
    Email: a.humbert@brookes.ac.uk

    Assistant Director

    Professor Lucy Vickers
    Email: lrvickers@brookes.ac.uk 

    Research Fellow 

    Kate Clayton-Hathway
    Email: kclayton-hathway@brookes.ac.uk 

    Research Administrator 

    Mieke Tyrrell
    Email: mtyrrell@brookes.ac.uk