Health-related ability to work
Poor physical and mental health are among the strongest predictors of early retirement. The impact of health on the ability to work is best considered in terms of the effects of a person's health on their ability to perform their current job, i.e., in light of the demands, rewards, and accommodations of the role.
Health-related ability to work can be improved by supporting employee health and adjusting the resources a person has to perform their role. Importantly, older employees' physical and mental health is significantly shaped by experiences across their life course. Actions that protect and support the health of workers of all ages will help support our ageing workforce.
We assessed health-related ability to work among older employees using a short version of the Work Ability Index (WAI). This measure includes questions about employees' current ability to work compared with their lifetime best, ability to perform physical demands of the job, ability to perform the mental demands of the job, estimated impairment in the role due to illness or injury, mental resources, sick leave in the past year, and estimated ability to work two years from now.
Click a category for a summary of WAI scores for older employees overall and a breakdown by demographic group.