Council dismantles age barriers to keep talent

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, which 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 talent it is absolutely vital that we are
able to keep the good staff we already have." The move also cuts down on
expenditure relating to recruitment and training.

So
far three employees, including a lawyer, are on the scheme.

Hyde
expects numbers to increase significantly due to the demographics of the
council’s workforce.

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