Tesco reaps benefit as number of over-50s staff reaches record level

One in five Tesco employees are now aged over 50, the supermarket giant has revealed.

A 154% rise on the number of over-50s employed by the retail giant in its UK stores compared with 10 years ago, brings the current total to 54,545. Some of this growth in the older workforce has been down to an increase in the retailer’s overall staff numbers, but personnel manager Linda Avis also credits Tesco’s pro-older people policies.

These include Tesco enabling employees to work and be developed no matter how old they are – the oldest employee currently working within a store is 80-years-old. The company also binned the fixed retirement age (currently the default retirement age is 65).

Working within the UK resourcing team, Avis said: “We are now seeing that our over-50 workforce is not only formed of employees who have worked their way through the ranks within Tesco, but increasingly, those who have decided to join Tesco later in life. Many of these new recruits have decided they would like a new challenge and have chosen to follow a new and exciting career path at the age of 50 or over.”

Of the 1,843 people currently on Tesco’s internal development programme, 366 (20%) are over 50. And more than 10% of Tesco’s store manager positions are filled by the over-50s, who also account for 14% of its senior team and 10% of its line managers.

Today (Wednesday) marks the government’s UK Older People’s Day designed to celebrate the older workforce.

Avis added that employing the over-50s has reaped its UK stores huge benefits.

“Staff turnover is at its lowest point within the over-50 age bracket, especially the 50- to 59-year-olds,” she said. “We benefit from the loyalty and reliability that this age group provides and we, therefore, endeavour to continue to tackle the outdated stereotypes about the ageing population and hope that the government will go some way to highlight the many opportunities that inter-generational working can provide.”

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