Purpose: Research findings are ambiguous regarding the effects of age on sustainable labour participation (SLP), defined as the extent to which people are able and willing to conduct their current and future work. The purpose of this paper is to contribute by examining age effects on SLP by focusing on the moderating role of workload. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-method study was conducted in 2018. First, a survey was distributed among a sample of 2,149 employees of the Dutch central government. Second, 12 interviews with public sector employees took place to gain greater insight into the quantitative data collected. Findings: Three components that reflect an employee’s SLP were studied: vitality, work ability and employability. The quantitative results, in general, showed that SLP decreased with ageing. However, in contrast to the hypothesis, the results showed a significant positive relationship between age and energy. Moreover, relationships between an employee’s age and certain aspects of their SLP were moderated by workload. The interviews helped to interpret these results. Practical implications: The findings demonstrate that some of the older worker stereotypes are unfounded, and the important practical implications of these are discussed. Originality/value: Earlier research has produced conflicting findings regarding the relationship between age and (aspects of) SLP. By investigating several aspects of SLP in separate regressions within this research, the specific influences of age have become clearer. Furthermore, the research provides fresh insights into the relationship between age and SLP by including moderating effects of workload.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Age, Employability, Sustainable labour participation, Vitality, Work ability, Workload
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJM-10-2018-0362, hdl.handle.net/1765/122936
Journal International Journal of Manpower
Citation
van den Elsen, J. (Josine), & Vermeeren, B. (2019). Age and sustainable labour participation: studying moderating effects. International Journal of Manpower. doi:10.1108/IJM-10-2018-0362