Promoting longer working lives is vital to improving Poland’s future prosperity


27/03/2015 - Encouraging more people to work later in life would help Poland meet  the challenges of a rapidly ageing population. The percentage of old to younger groups (defined as share of over 65s to people aged 20-64) is projected to nearly triple from 22% in 2012 to 63% in 2050, according to a new OECD report.


Working Better with Age in Poland says that reforms over the past decade, such as limiting access to early retirement and stricter criteria for disability benefits, have already had a strong impact: the share of 55-59 year olds in work has increased significantly from 36% in 2003 to 55% in 2013.



But the proportion of older people in Poland who are working still remains well below the average  for OECD countries: in 2013, the employment rate of 55-64 year olds was 41%, compared with the OECD average of 55%, and it was only 9% for the age group 65-69, compared with the OECD average of nearly 20%.



“Further reforms to encourage active ageing and longer working lives are needed in Poland. Employers need to do more to improve working conditions for older workers and reduce the large gender gap in employment,” said Stefano Scarpetta, OECD Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs.




 Among its recommendations, the OECD says Poland should:


  • Help more women stay longer in the labour market. Further development of care facilities is required to help older women combine work with family responsibilities. Women’s labour market conditions and future pensions should be reformed.
  • Concentrate on preventive measures in occupational health services. Local health services should also have prevention and early identification of health risks as priorities.
  • Make social dialogue a driving force in the design and implementation of policies to prolong working lives, for example, through projects in the “Solidarity Across Generations” programme, which was renewed in 2013.
  • Align employment protection legislation (EPL) across all age groups by abolishing the special protection rules for older workers. This should however be combined with reinforced active labour market measures for older jobseekers to facilitate their quick reintegration into employment.


For further information or comment, journalists should contact Anne Sonnet (+33 1 45 24 91 69) of the OECD’s Employment, Labour and Social Affairs directorate. The report is available here or on request to


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