Many over 50s put their jobs before their health

New research by Aviva has shown that more than one in three British workers over the age of 50 are putting their jobs before their health and more than a quarter are frightened to tell their boss about health issues.

More than one in three of those interviewed said their job was harmful to their health and well-being and expected that ill health would force them to retire early.


Around 35% of over 50s – more than three million people – blamed money issues as a strain on their physical and mental health, 24% said they had existing medical conditions and 21% blamed work pressures.

Source: Aviva 2018

Money worries were the biggest cause for concern among the sample of 2,500 workers aged between 16 and 75 with 43% admitting it was putting a strain on their health.

The second biggest cause was work pressures which are affecting the health of 30% of those spoken to while 20% cited family problems.

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Jobs over health

Investigators found that 37% of 50 plus workers admitted they put their jobs above their health and 27% said they didn’t feel comfortable about admitting the fact to their employer.

The older workers wanted more help from their employers, with just over half saying they didn’t feel supported by their bosses over their health compared with just 39% of workers aged between 16 and 49. One in five reckoned employers should offer workshops or seminars on health to their older staff.

Source: Aviva 2018

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Health challenges

Investigators asked the sample what they felt was the greatest strain on their well-being

Mid-life MOT

Aviva spokesman, Lindsey Rix, said: “We recently piloted a mid-life MOT within Aviva to help give our employees a greater sense of empowerment over the choices they face beyond 50, with one of the key focuses is on health and wellbeing.

“Greater clarity and support for health and wellbeing in the workplace will prevent employees, especially those close to retirement, from having to retire prematurely and avoid a drain of valuable skills and talent.”

The findings of the pilot scheme have been presented to the Department for Work & Pensions.

Critical illness and income protection

Despite the fears expressed by those taking part in the survey, research has shown that less than half the workers in the UK have taken out either critical illness or income protection insurance to make sure their bills can be met if they are forced to come out of work through illness.

Critical illness cover pays out a lump sum which can help pay off your mortgage or other debts, cope with day to day bills and expenses or fund extra care and help in recovery.

Income protection policies offer a monthly sum of money to replace your lost earnings. Short or long term policies are available and will cover up to a certain percentage of your wage.