Department for Work and Pensions Age Positive at Work Award

This
award recognises organisations that can demonstrate commitment to achieving age
positive practices in the workplace. The judge looked for examples of best
practice in the various stages of the employment process from recruitment and
selection, training and development, through to promotion, redundancy and
retirement.

Category
judge

Robert
Taylor is a director of Age Concern Cymru and a trustee of Age Concern England.
His background includes social and youth work and in 1982 he took the post of
director of South Glamorgan Care for the Elderly. Over seven years he built the
organisation from two to 50 staff and established the first Hospital Discharge
Service, the first Coldline older persons winter helpline and support service,
and the first carers information service in Wales. In 1989 he moved to Age
Concern as deputy director, and since 1991 he has held the post of director. He
regularly represents the views of older people in Wales.

Inkfish
call centres (Nottingham)

The
team

No.
in HR team 5, total number in HR 12, staff responsible for 552 in Nottingham

Ruth
Ebbern-Robinson, Call Centres HR manager
Allie Granger, HR adviser
David Colley, HR assistant
Ian Smith, Age positive representative
Natalie Coulton, HR recruiter
John Whittaker, Senior HR adviser
Sharon Brosnan, HR recruiter

Inkfish
Call Centres HR Team

About
the company

Inkfish
Call Centres is a subsidiary of Domestic & General Group, a provider of
breakdown cover and services for domestic electrical equipment. It has call
centres in Brighton, Slough, Redhill and Nottingham offering information,
sales, internet and technical support lines, market research, lead generation
and overflow facilities. Employs 1,400 people.

The
challenge

To
increase staff diversity and attract and retain higher numbers of older workers
who bring experience, loyalty, and reliability.

What
the company did


Asked temporary recruitment agencies to meet and beat a 10 per cent target of
mature workers


Redesigned recruitment material, PR and interview methods to appeal to older
candidates and reduce levels of age bias at interviews


Provided confidence-building induction training and support prior to call
handling


Designed flexible working packages


Recruited 10 mature advisers, appointed a ‘mature workers ambassador’, and
proper mechanisms for older worker feedback


Introduced annual health checks

Benefits
and achievements


Regular feedback on staff satisfaction and business performance


Staff can work beyond the state retirement age if they are fit to do so


All Inkfish call centres are now targeting mature workers


Empathy with callers has increased


Older workers bring a positive work ethic and are loyal


They have had a positive influence on younger staff members

Robert
Taylor says:
"Inkfish has demonstrated a commitment to work-life
balance and equality of opportunity for all its staff. With non-discriminatory
policies and practice in place and a clear strategy for achieving an
age-diverse workforce already well developed, Inkfish has shown age is no
barrier to finding employment and job progression in its workforce."

ASDA

The
team

No.
in HR team 3 plus the HR managers in stores, total number in HR approx 500,
Staff responsible for 120,000

Philip
Horn, Head of resourcing
Duncan Forbes, Resourcing manager
Angela Martin, Resourcing manager
Sally Hopson, Director of resourcing & development
Betty-Ann Kiddhunter, Greengrocer
Lloyd Belle-Nevis, Asda handyman
Dawn Pitchford, Claire Fuller, Jessica Kellman Resourcing managers

Resourcing
Team

About
the company

Asda
was originally formed by a group of farmers from Yorkshire and became part of
the Wal-Mart family in 1999. It now has 259 stores and 19 depots across the UK,
employing 122,000 people in total.  

The
challenge

To
increase the number of staff aged over 50 from 15,993 (15.4 per cent of staff)
to 20 per cent by the end of 2003. Achieving a diverse workforce would reflect
business philosophy and underpin the company’s values. It would also ensure
staff were representative of the customers they serve.

What
the company did


Introduced Asda Goldies, a store campaign on the benefits of working for Asda


Promoted Grandparent Leave (unpaid week off for birth of a grandchild) and
Benidorm Leave (three months unpaid January-March)


Briefed target and initiative to whole company at conference and in-store
briefings


Produced potential recruit toolkit


Appointed greeters for candidates in stores and held events from tea dances to
open days


Rewarded stores that went that extra mile

Benefits
and achievements


Increased older staff by 3.5 per cent to 18.9 per cent in just one year


Reduced staff turnover and absence


Built real team spirit in communicating the message into stores


Raised profile of commitment to diversity

Robert
Taylor says:
"Asda has committed time, effort and enthusiasm to
achieving a corporate approach to promoting age diversity across the company.
The targeted campaign to recruit older workers is supported by age-friendly
policies and a commitment to diversity from the top down and across all stores.
Its success in attracting high numbers of mature staff speaks for itself."

Barclays
plc

The
team

No.
in team 5, total number in HR approx 800
Staff responsible for approx 74,400

Charlotte
Sweeney, Diversity manager
Stuart Stephen, Pensions director
Ann Elliott, Resourcing & learning director
Karen Caddick, Head of HR policy
David Weymouth, Chief information officer

Equality
and Diversity Team

About
the company

One
of the UK’s largest financial services groups, Barclays operates in 60
countries. It has been involved in banking for 300 years and employs 74,700
staff globally.

The
challenge

In
2001, Barclays put equality and diversity at the heart of its business
strategy. But, like others, it had lost many older workers in rounds of
redundancies in the 1990s, compounded by a reduction in the number of external
recruits. Barclays wanted to attract older staff and make HR aware of issues
involved, review retirement and recruitment policies, raise age diversity
issues among staff and customers, and develop a Modern Apprenticeship scheme to
attract younger people.

What
the company did


Announced right to request flexible work


Reviewed all HR policies to ensure no age bias


Gave staff right to work until the age of 65


Raised age diversity awareness levels


Identified factors that were an issue for different age groups


Introduced long-service awards

Benefits
and achievements


Barclays now employs more people over 55 than under the age of 20


Over 55s up by nearly 400 in two years


More than 170 16 to 19-year-olds participated in Barclays’ Modern
Apprenticeship scheme


Barclays became an Age Positive Champion for the Government initiative

Robert
Taylor says
: "Barclays has spent several years reviewing and
developing its strategic approach to achieving an age diverse workforce. As
part of its wider commitment to diversity in the workplace, its age strategy is
targeted at both ends of the workforce age spectrum (16-20 and 50+) and
includes targeting of people aged 65 and over."

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