Thesis Working Title

Ageing without Ageism: An exploration of the expectations and experiences of older workers in Ireland post the removal of the mandatory retirement age.

In 2022 Age Action Ireland highlighted that while there are more than one million people in Ireland who are over the age of 60 years, only approximately 8% of people aged 66 + remain in the workplace. My research sets out to explore the experiences of older workers in Ireland and will focus particularly on identifying the barriers and potential enablers to active workforce participation across the later stages of the working life. I am particularly interested in exploring current social roles and norms and whether and how they influence perceptions, attitudes and stereotypes towards older people in the workplace. This research is timely given the current phasing out of the mandatory retirement age that has hitherto shaped perceptions of, and attitudes to the labour force participation of older workers.                

Embedded within principles of inclusion and equality, my  research seeks to inform and influence the implementation of Ireland’s future policy on ageing through tracking the 'real life' experiences of a group of  older workers, or recently retired workers., Three core research questions underpin my work:  

1. How does Social Role Theory influence the perception of the value of the older worker? 
2. What are the prevailing organisational and personal stereotypes and attitudes being experienced by older workers?  
3. What barriers exist towards working beyond the currently traditionally recognised retirement age?