Council cuts costs by keeping oldies active

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has abolished retirement ages for
staff in a bid to retain skills and reduce recruitment costs.

The council now gives employees the opportunity to work past 65 as long as
there is a business case to do so.

Under the scheme managers must give their approval for staff to continue
working beyond 65 and these employees are then appraised annually to monitor
their performance.

Staff over 65 can negotiate changes to their working arrangements such as
moving from full-time to part time.

The move does not affect staff pensions as they are frozen when employees
reach 65 and staff over that age do not contribute.

Javier Hyde, HR manager at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said the
scheme is a vital part of the authority’s HR strategy as more than half of the
council’s 12,500 employees are over 50.

"The move has gone down really well," she said. "Employees
are pleased as they now have a choice of when to finish work and no longer feel
that they are being got rid of by the council.

"Local councils are struggling to attract talented staff, so it is
absolutely vital that we are able to keep those we already have. We also do not
have to spend any money recruiting, selecting and training."

So far three employees, including a lawyer, are on the scheme and Hyde
expects numbers to increase significantly due to the demographics of the
council’s workforce.

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