BT finds success with grey brigade scheme

BT has increased the proportion of its staff aged over 50 and reduced
recruitment costs since the introduction of flexible retirement policies last
year.

In February 2001 the company introduced flexible retirement schemes that
have seen the number of staff over 50 years old increase from 13 to 18 per
cent.

Staff approaching retirement can job share, work part-time, gradually reduce
hours and responsibilities, go on full or part-time sabbaticals and senior
staff can take a demotion to reduce work commitments.

Becky Mason, employment policy consultant at BT Group, said the schemes have
reduced the company’s recruitment costs and retained organisational knowledge
and skills.

"Offering greater flexibility around retirement enables BT to retain
the skills and experience of many of our most talented people," she said.
"The current tight labour market and skills shortages across the
information, communication and technology industries have only added to the
importance of retaining these staff."

Mason said flexible retirement has helped to change the work culture at BT,
which employs 105,000 staff.

"There has been a huge early retirement expectation…Flexible retirement
has helped overcome that barrier."

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