McDonalds and British Gas were among the winners at the Employers Forum on Age awards, which showcase the achievements of organisations that have taken a lead in promoting workplace wellbeing and age diversity.
McDonalds scooped the award for commitment to lifelong learning by providing recognised qualifications, initially in basic skills, to all staff regardless of their age and experience. The firm was also highly commended for its approach to flexible working.
British Gas Service’s campaign to fully embrace anti-ageism legislation led to sweeping changes to its training and recruitment activities and introduced new contracts for staff who wanted to alter their working arrangements. This won the company the award for innovation in attracting and retaining baby-boomers.
Parent company Centrica’s work:wise programme – designed to offer all employees greater control over their work-life balance and achieve a more efficient use of office space – won the flexible working award.
Other winners included First ScotRail, West Midlands Police and Addleshaw Goddard.
Presenting the awards, Dame Joan Bakewell, the government’s Voice of Older People, used the platform to call on the government to scrap the default retirement age of 65.
“We live in shifting and critical times, therefore waiting until 2011, for the government review, is simply too long for those who are facing these issues now. The legislation surrounding the default retirement age is too complicated, not satisfactory and urgently needs updating.”
Personnel Today is supporting a campaign by the Employers Forum on Age to force the government to ditch the default retirement age.