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Critique and debate key and contemporary arguments about the theory and practice of HRM and how ethical expectations are met in practice whilst assessing its contribution to the organisation.



Unit Name:  Human Resource Management

Unit Code:  SHR018-2

Title of Coursework:  Referral Assignment 1: Employing older workers  in contemporary organisations

% weighting of final unit grade: 40%

Employing Older Workers

The main purpose of this argument is to analyse the strategies that maximise healthy and productive organisational performance through people resources. Also evaluate workplace scenarios.
Aim: To analyse the arguments and strategies that maximise healthy and productive organisational performance through maximising people resources

Learning Outcomes:

To be able to

  1. Critique and debate key and contemporary arguments about the theory and practice of HRM and how ethical expectations are met in practice whilst assessing its contribution to the organisation.
  2. Evaluate and analyse workplace scenarios relating to relevant business strategies for professional, ethical, effective and efficient HRM within current organisational contexts.


People are living longer and working for longer and are in better health. Since 1960, life expectancy has climbed by eight years, and demographic projections foresee a further five-year increase over the next forty years.

The European Statistical Office projects that by 2060 there will be only two people of working age (15-64) in the EU, for every person aged over 65, compared to a ratio of four to one today. The strongest push in this direction is expected to occur during the period 2015-35 when the baby boomers who were born in the two decades after World-War II, start to retire (European Commission 2012). The authors, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott[1], predict that, given the average level of savings of people in advanced economies, many currently in their twenties will be working into their seventies and perhaps their eighties. Their research also suggests employers are not prepared for the inevitable extension of working lives with only a few giving considered thought to the opportunities and challenges for their workforce.

Key Tasks:

Using the information provided in the document Employing older workers for an effective multi-generational workforce: case studies[2] write a short report of no more than 2000 words which addresses the following tasks:

  1. Develop a robust business case why companies should adopt strategies to recruiting older workers, ensuring that you critically discuss both the benefits and challenges associated with having an older workforce. You must make reference to at least TWO of the case study organisations from different sectors in making your case.
  2. Make recommendations as to the kinds of action organisations must consider in ensuring they they have a ready supply of labour in the future.

Section / Title

Details / Guidance

Title page

Title of your report.  Address (to/from) and date the report.

Contents Page

Include page numbers.  (not included in word count)


Short introduction to the report setting out what the aims and objectives of the report are, what the report will cover and why. You may also want to explain why age diversity is such a ‘hot topic’ in HR circles (approximately 150 words).

Business Case

Including benefits and challenges

(Task 1)

Establish a persuasive business case showing comprehensive awareness of contextual issues related to businesses as a whole. Being able to critically examine and explain the importance and benefit (or not) of engaging older workers in the workplace and an active age diversity policy as part of an organisation’s strategy.

Using third party sources (e.g. academic literature or practitioner-orientated material) for support, analyse the theoretical concept underpinning employment of older workers and their engagement in the workforce. To what extent is this strategy thought to work or not and why it benefits (or not) an organisation. How does this strategy impact the organisation?  You should make reference to relevant organisations from the case studies evaluating their approaches and including critical viewpoints. (around 1400 words)


This section should initially answer your initial objectives and draw together the main points from your analysis of literature and research. It summarises what has been learned from undertaking this research. It should also begin to weigh up the options available to organisations and what would impede implementation. It should reach an overall conclusion as to the extent and effectiveness of the issue identified in organisations and based upon option evaluation begin to identify the way forward. No new information should be presented in the conclusions.                                                 (around  150 words)


Task 2

Make considered recommendations for action based upon your conclusions, clearly stating how they will add value to the organisation’s performance over time.

The recommendations for action should be linked to creating an acceptable level of employee diversity or enhancing the existing level, or to introducing some new practices and processes to make the current degree of employee diversity more sustainable in the longer term. (around 300 words).

Reference List

A list of the third-party sources you have consulted and which are cited directly in the text.  All these sources should be properly identified.  Harvard style (see the Learning Resources website: lrweb.beds.ac.uk/help/guide-to-ref).


Lengthy appendices are not necessary and must be discouraged.

Word Limit

2,000 words +/- 10% (not including, contents page, reference list and appendices)

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