Forum sings praises of the older worker

A major drive to promote age diversity in the workplace by highlighting the
bottom-line benefits of employing older people has been launched.

The Employers Forum on Age campaign promotes the business benefits of age
diversity, and is backed by several large corporations including Barclays,
GlaxoSmithKline, HBOS and Nationwide Building Society.

Denise Walker, head of personnel for Nationwide, said new policies,
including raising the retirement age to 70, have saved it £7m in staff turnover
costs.

She said staff churn is much lower among older workers, which was important
considering it costs the company between £5,000 and £8,000 to recruit and train
a new member of staff.

"The turnover for employees at both ends of the age spectrum is 4 per
cent compared to 10.37 for the building society as a whole," she said.

HBOS said open days aimed at recruiting over-50s performed better when
staffed by people in the same age groups.

Tyrone Jones, diversity manager at HBOS said: "Age diversity has a good
business impact. It motivates staff when they see there are no barriers whether
they are young or old."

The bank has removed the age box from its application form. It allows staff
to work beyond the retirement age of 62, and is now actively recruiting people
of that age and over.

The EFA has launched a document and website to promote the campaign and
plans to release three guides.

www.efa.org.uk

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