Group has been officially recognised for its work in removing ageism from its businesses.
The company has been awarded ‘Employer Champion’ status by the government’s Age Positive initiative, which promotes age equality in the workplace.
regulations introduced last year made it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees because of their age. A national default retirement age of 65 means that employers can no longer force someone to retire before then.
The Co-op has gone one step further, and removed its contractual retirement age altogether. Employees can choose to continue working past the age of 65 if they wish to do so. Currently, the company has 793 staff aged over 65, and about 11,300 staff over 50.
The group has redesigned its job application forms so that date of birth is not visible to recruitment managers, and has ‘age-proofed’ the way it assesses people by focusing on the performance and contribution of employees, rather than how old they are. Managers are also trained on the issue, Co-op said.