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“Fuller” or “extended” working lives: a critical commentary

Chris Phillipson (Professor of Sociology and Social Gerontology, School of Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 8 December 2014




The purpose of this paper is to, first, provide some background to the treatment of older workers; second, highlight the distinction between a “fuller” and an “extended” working life; third, note the importance of separating out different groups within the category “older worker”; finally, identify areas for action to suppose those now facing working into their 60s and beyond.


Commentary paper analysing development of policies towards older workers.


This paper identifies problems implementing policy of extending working and provides various areas of action to support older workers.

Research limitations/implications

This paper suggests extending work unlikely to be achieved without ensuring greater security for older workers.

Practical implications

Importance of developing more support for older workers.

Social implications

Challenge of resolving insecurity in the labour force as an impediment to extended working.


This paper outlines a critical assessment of current government policy towards older workers.



Phillipson, C. (2014), "“Fuller” or “extended” working lives: a critical commentary", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 237-240.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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