Older people and employment in Scotland: research

An examination of attitudes and issues surrounding an older workforce.

Annex B: Participant information sheet

Employment amongst the over 50s in Scotland: study information sheet

What is the purpose of the study?

In recent years, the government has changed the law about retirement and pensions. These changes mean that for most people, there is no longer a fixed retirement age (the age at which you have to retire). It also means that the age at which people can claim their State Pension will rise over time.

These are big changes that will affect millions of workers, but very little is known about how older workers themselves feel about these changes. This study aims to increase our understanding of people's views and experiences of working in later life and their decisions about retirement.

The study will help to inform both the government and employers about how to support workers aged 50 and over.

Who is doing the study?

The study is funded by the Scottish Government. It is being carried out by Wendy Loretto and Laura Airey, who are researchers at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

How will the study be carried out?

We are doing 40 interviews with people aged 50-75 living across Scotland. We want to talk with people who are either looking for work, self-employed or in a paid job. Taking part in the study will involve a face to face interview with a member of the research team at a time and place that suits you. The interview will last around 1- 1½ hours. We will ask for your permission to record the interview.

During the interview we will be asking you to tell us about a range of topics, including:

  • Your working life, both in the past and now
  • How your current work fits in with family, caring and other commitments
  • How long you plan to keep working for, and what might influence your plans to retire
  • Your pension plans, and whether your current financial situation has any impact on your decisions about work and retirement
  • How you think employers and the government could support workers in your situation

Our researchers are very experienced and have interviewed lots of people on similar topics before. At the end of the interview, we will offer you an information leaflet containing contact details of different organisations that provide information and support to workers and carers aged 50+.

To thank you for taking part in the study, we will give you a £15 One4All Gift Card. This gift will not affect your other income or any state benefits you may receive.

In a separate part of the study, we will also be talking to a range of employers about their attitudes, policies and practices concerning older workers.

Do I have to take part in the study?

You do not have to take part in the study - it is entirely up to you to choose whether or not you would like to take part. If you do agree to be interviewed, we will ask you to sign a consent form to show that you have agreed to be involved in the study. You can change your mind at any time, without giving a reason.

How will my details be kept confidential?

After your interview, the recording will be sent to a professional transcriber to be typed up. The typed-up interview will leave out your name and other personal details which might identify you. Instead, each typed up interview will be labelled with an identification code so that all of the interviews remain anonymous.

Only the researchers working on the study will see the typed-up interviews. Electronic files will be kept in password-protected folders on a secure server at the University of Edinburgh. Hard copies of interviews will be stored in locked filing cabinets at the University of Edinburgh.

When we write up the study, we may wish to use something you have said in your interview to make a point. When we do this, we will not use your name or any other personal details that might identify you.

How can I find out more about the study?

If you have any questions or queries about the study, please get in touch with:

Dr Laura Airey
0131 651 1035


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