UK and Hong Kong Survey of Older Workers

Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West

ISBN: 978-1-78714-639-6, eISBN: 978-1-78714-638-9

Publication date: 7 November 2017


(2017), "UK and Hong Kong Survey of Older Workers", Flynn, M., Li, Y. and Chiva, A. (Ed.) Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West (The Changing Context of Managing People), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 249-266.

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited

Table A1 shows the demographic profile of the survey.

Table A1.

Demographic Profile of the Survey.

UK (%) Hong Kong (%)
Male 50.1 50
Female 49.9 50
45–49 16.3 39.9
50–54 26.3 36.6
55–59 31.5 16.5
60–64 18.9 5.5
65+  7.1 1.5
Agriculture 0.4 0.5
Energy and water 2.6 1.5
Manufacturing 9.1 12.5
Construction 5.1 7.2
Catering (e.g., hotel or restaurant) 2.5 3.4
Transport 8.6 9
Banking and finance 4.5 6.9
Public administration 7.8 6.4
Education 8.9 10
Health services 9.1 5.3
Charity/voluntary sector 4.3 1.6
Retail and wholesale 11.3 14.4
Social care and social work 4.9 2.6
Business and support services 18.3 13.3
Others 2.9 5.3
Total 100
Marital status
Single (never been married or cohabiting) 12.8 17.3
Married or cohabiting 68 77.3
Divorced 16.5 3.3
Widowed 2.8 2.3
Weekly household income
Bottom quintile 11.3 4.4
Second to lowest quintile 28.9 11.3
Middle quintile 32.5 16.6
Second to highest quintile 19 29.4
Highest quintile 8.4 38.4
Highest level of Education
Higher degree (e.g., Masters or PhD) 7.8 11.4
First degree (e.g., BA, BSc) 18.9 21.3
Other qualification (e.g., City and Guilds, RSA/OCR, BTEC/Edexcel) 18 1.3
NVQ at level 4 or equivalent 8.1 10.3
At least one A level or equivalent 16.1 44.6
At least one O level or equivalent 23.9 9.1
No qualifications 7.2 2.1
Trade Union Membership
Yes 27.5 17.6
No 72.5 82.4
Caring responsibilities
Yes 32 69.9
No 68 30.1

Table A2.

Survey Question Responses.

Variables Source Question UK (%) Hong Kong (%)
Have you taken part in any education or any training connected with your job, or a job you might be able to do in the future? In the last 6 months Labour Force Survey (UK) 20.8 18.8
More than 6 months ago 54.5 52.6
Never 24.8 28.6
Did your employer support you in terms? (Please tick all that apply.) Encouraging you to take part in training National Adult Learning Survey (NALS) 63.8 45.7
Subsidising the cost of tuition 36.0 29.2
Providing time off 32.4 16.3
Recognising your training in ways such as higher pay or promotion 16.1 14.7
What made you decide to take part in training? Gain new skills for my job NALS 50.2 61.1
Get more satisfaction out of my work 21.4 18.9
Get a new job 10.3 11.2
Get a pay rise 9.3 16.8
Set up my own business 2.5 3.9
Get a promotion 7.3 28.4
Stay in my job that I might have lost without doing this course 15.3 13.3
Help me with work problems which were related to my health problems or disabilities 1.7 3.2
Improve my knowledge/ability in the subject 57.5 61.3
Gain a certificate or qualification 32.4 29.8
Do something interesting 21.8 13.8
To find out about a subject 16.9 20.1
Have some fun 4.8 7.2
Do something with my spare time 5.0 9.5
Keep my body active 3.0 7.4
Get involved with voluntary or community activities 2.7 4.7
Help my children/family members with their schoolwork 0.8 2.1
Help with my health problems 0.8 3.2
If you have not taken part in education or training within the past five years, why have you not done so? (Please tick all that apply.) Prefer to spend my time doing other things NALS 28.3 23.6
Not interested in learning 14.1 17.5
Do not need to learn for my work 54.0 29.3
Do not see any point to education 2.5 21.4
Lack of time due to work 24.7 46.3
Lack of time due to family/caring 12.6 27.9
Nervous about going back to classroom 4.0 7.4
Worried about keeping up with the training 5.6 13.1
Difficulties with reading, writing, and numbers 1.0 4.4
Too old to learn 15.2 37.6
Course difficult due to health/disability 0.0 3.5
Employer would not support my learning 21.7 32.8
How are your working time arrangements set? They are set by employer with no possibility for changes European Working Conditions Survey 48.9 68.9
You can choose between several fixed working schedules 9.1 13.1
You can adapt your working hours within certain limits 34.4 12.6
Your working hours are entirely determined by yourself 7.6 5.4
How is your health in general? Very good 21.3 9.4
Rather good 44.3 37.3
Moderate 27.5 46.6
Rather poor 6.5 6.4
Very poor 0.5 0.4
How would you rate your current ability to work with respect to the physical demands of work? Very good Workability Index 38.4 12.5
Rather good 38.1 45.3
Moderate 20.6 39.4
Rather poor 2.3 2.8
Very poor 0.6 0.1
How would you rate your current ability to work with respect to the stress and mental demands of work? Very good WAI 35.1 9.9
Rather good 37.9 41.1
Moderate 22.1 43.3
Rather poor 4.1 5.4
Very poor 0.8 0.4
How easy or difficult do you think it would be for you to make the following arrangements?
To stay in your present job until retirement Easy 63.3 54.6
To take on a new job within your organisation Easy 20.5 18.5
To stay in your present job, but to vary your job content Easy 32.9 23.9
To stay in your present job but change your working hours Easy 34.3 24.5
To change to a job which is less demanding in your current workplace Easy 16.8 21.9
To spend all or some of your working time mentoring or sharing knowledge with colleagues Easy 25.9 30.6
To become self-employed Easy 10.0 16.4
To work occasionally Easy 19.6 18.5
How much would you agree or disagree with the following statements?
The experience of older employees is valued in my workplace Agree 59.8 47.8
Work teams are usually age-mixed Agree 72.9 62.3
People are treated equally regardless of age. Agree 66.8 47.0
How would you rate your skills (including not only taught skills, but also experience and know-how) relative to what you need for? EWCS (Modified)
Your current job requirement At about the right level 55.5 50.3
A promotion in your workplace At about the right level 65.9 51.8
Finding a new job within your organisation At about the right level 64.6 50.6
Finding a new job outside your organisation At about the right level 65.0 51.4
Sharing knowledge which could be used by work colleagues At about the right level 63.1 57.1
How would you rate? NHS Agenda for Change
Your formal education and training as they relate to your present job Good/excellent 70.8 50.5
Your IT/computer skills Good/excellent 65.8 45.4
Your problem-solving skills Good/excellent 84.1 64.9
Your experience as it relates to your present job Good/excellent 88.9 71.1
Your on-the-job knowledge Good/excellent 90.9 69.5
Your knowledge of your workplace and how to get things done within it Good/excellent 87.4 69.5
Your work-related social networks Good/excellent 47.9 49.6
When something needs to be done, your ability to persuade others to pitch in Good/excellent 73.0 58.8
Your ability to manage your workload Good/excellent 85.0 62.0
Your ability to set goals in work Good/excellent 73.8 60.9
Your adaptability to changing situations at work Good/excellent 80.1 61.5
Your ability to identify and implement improvements in your work Good/excellent 75.5 59.3
Your pride in the work you do Good/excellent 81.1 48.3
Your ability to evaluate the quality of your work Good/excellent 85.0 65.3
Your ability to work with people with different perspectives from you Good/excellent 81.4 55.1
Your ability to make decisions based on all available information Good/excellent 85.1 64.5
People put effort into their work for many reasons. Which is the main and second most important reasons why you put effort into work? European Social Survey
To be satisfied with what I have accomplished Top reason 49.8 33.9
To keep my job Top reason 20.0 28.4
Because my work is important to other people Top reason 12.0 4.4
To get a higher wage or promotion Top reason 4.1 14.0
Because my work tasks are interesting Top reason 4.1 3.5
Because it’s everyone’s duty to do their best Top reason 10.0 15.9
How capable do you feel in being able to discuss with your manager? CIPD Employment Outlook (modified)
Important workplace matters Excellent/good 74.0 61.8
Your training and development Excellent/good 64.0 42.3
Your work performance Excellent/good 74.5 64.6
Your retirement plans Excellent/good 42.3 35.8
The resources you need to do your job productively Excellent/good 67.6 49.4
Any problems you may have in work Excellent/good 66.5 52.0
Do your colleagues help and support you? Always 27.0 22.8
Most of the time 45.9 36.6
Sometimes 21.3 33.6
Rarely 4.8 5.6
How aware are you of: Never 1.1 1.4
Your employment rights, particularly in regards to age discrimination Aware/very aware 74.5 74.0
Your company’s human resource policies particularly in regards to retirement Aware/very aware 62.8 66.1
What your pension or retirement income will be once you fully retire? Aware/very aware 57.3 72.3
Does or did your employer provide pre-retirement training or support? Would you like such help now? (Whether or not you are now in paid work.) Employer offers Healthy Working Lives 36.2 59.6
Planning retirement activities Employer offers 41.7 62.1
Financial planning Employer offers 43.5 62.9
Help in using my workplace skills in new ways Employer offers 40.0 58.4
Help in finding a new job or career Employer offers 30.6 42.2
Business training to become self employed Employer offers 31.1 38.7
Thinking about your present job, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? ESS (Modified)
My job makes me satisfied with what I have accomplished Agree 73.1 65.3
My job is interesting Agree 68.4 42.3
My job is important to others Agree 80.9 54.0
I am satisfied with my career prospects Agree 48.1 40.4
My job is secure Agree 52.1 58.4
I always do my best in work Agree 89.9 73.0
Given your profession, position, industry and country, how would you rate your? International Social Survey Project
Salary Below average 32.9 19.6
Job quality Below average 16.1 33.8
Job security Below average 17.3 22.1
At what age do you plan to fully retire? Average 65.08 61.64
Age plan to retire: No plan to retire at present 14.4 6.8
How do you plan to finance your retirement? Continued paid work CROW Survey 27.3 35.8
Don’t know 7.8 3.8
Moving to a smaller property 15.1 6.6
MPF - 65.6
Occupational pension 50.3 8.4
Partner’s or other family member’s income 16.3 16.0
Personal savings/investment 38.4 69.6
Private pension 37.0 12.0
Property investment 5.8 13.3
State pension entitlements 77.3 4.5
Which, if any, of the following are reasons why you plan to retire, or why you have retired at the age you have stated? (Please tick all that apply.) I have other commitments (e.g. looking after a family member) 5.4 6.2
I have the option of retiring early and would like to take it 7.2 17.8
I want to do voluntary work 5.1 11.7
I will be this age when my spouse/partner plans to retire 9.5 11.1
My job is too mentally demanding to work any longer 10.4 9.8
My job would be too physically demanding to work any longer 14.5 8.2
This is my employer’s specified retirement age 11.5 33.2
This is the age I want to retire 56.1 53.1
This is the age when I can receive a full pension 34.3 10.2
This is the age when my financial commitments reduce (e.g. finish paying mortgage) 9.2 5.6
To enjoy retirement as soon as I can afford to 35.0 25.7
Which of the following would you miss once you fully retire from work? (You can answer more than one). Being with colleagues and workmates 42.8 17.0
Having something to do 29.9 38.8
Nothing 20.5 15.3
The feeling of being useful 28.1 25.4
The influence, being part of the decision making process 13.1 13.0
The money 45.9 39.8
The respect of my colleagues for what I do 14.4 15.8
The work that I do 27.4 21.4
Are you looking forward to (full) retirement? Yes, I shall be pleased to retire/it will be a relief Ÿ 27.5 20.4
I am relaxed about it 34.9 41.9
Not really, I am apprehensive 18.0 17.5
Not at all, I am dreading it 4.3 4.1
I haven’t really thought about it. 15.4 16.1
Which of the following would you like to do before you fully retire? To become self-employed 4.6 8.4
To take on a new job within your organisation 8.0 6.0
To change to a job which is less demanding in your current workplace 9.3 8.5
To spend all or some of your working time mentoring or sharing knowledge with colleagues 10.0 10.1
Nothing 10.5 5.9
To stay in your present job, but to vary your job content 11.5 11.9
To work occasionally 14.9 23.3
To stay in your present job but change your working hours 18.0 11.0
How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
I am optimistic about the future Strongly agree/agree 51.0 40.1
On the whole, my life is as close to how I would want it to be Strongly agree/agree 44.9 44.5
I am satisfied with my life Strongly agree/agree 56.5 47.5
I am satisfied with my present job Strongly agree/agree 59.9 45.9
I am satisfied with how my career has turned out Strongly agree/agree 47.0 35.3
I am satisfied with my health these days Strongly agree/agree 55.5 41.6
I have a lot of choice over my career Strongly agree/agree 26.4 24.9
I have a lot of choice over how and when I retire Strongly agree/agree 42.3 32.8
I have a lot of choice over how my life turns out Strongly agree/agree 49.1 40.5