Nationwide to allow staff to work until they are 75

Nationwide Building Society is extending its terms and conditions of employment so employees who wish to work until the age of 75 can do so.

Nationwide was one of the first organisations to introduce flexible retirement in 2001 to allow older employees to work until 70.

The society has now extended this policy allowing those who want to, to continue working up until 75. Those choosing to carry on working will be entitled to their existing benefits.

The move comes ahead of age discrimination legislation which is due in 2006. This will set a default retirement age of 65 but will give employees a right to request working beyond that age.

Jeremy del Strother, divisional director personnel and development at Nationwide, said research showed there was a strong correlation between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and the success of any business.

“We have found that older employees help increase the levels of satisfaction amongst our customers,” he said. “We also know that some employees wish to continue working beyond the normal retirement age, so have enhanced our policies to support those employees, giving them more choice over when they want to retire.”

The Nationwide Group Staff Union supports the move.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “It’s good to see employers and unions working together to combat ageist attitudes at work. Nationwide has been forward-thinking enough to realise the benefits that come from employing older workers.

“I hope other businesses start to follow Nationwide’s lead and begin to see the forthcoming age equality regulations as an opportunity not a threat,” he said.

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