Case study: B&Q fits in older workers

DIY retailer B&Q sees that an age-diverse workforce brings a wealth of skills and experience. It has operated without a default retirement age for over 15 years, and aims to provide ageneutral benefits for its 32,000 employees.

This means ensuring the perks for staff across its 300 UK branches, such as voluntary benefits, apply to all and are not biased by geography, age or gender. Paul Manzi, reward manager, says: “We try to be non-age specific.”

B&Q actively recruits from all age groups and, with 28% of its workforce over the age of 50, it has many employees who are semiretired.

B&Q’s oldest employee is 96 and works on the checkouts.

The firm recognises that an ageing population comes with some physical restrictions, for example injuries, bad backs and people becoming more frail, so it offers adjustments to utilise these people as well as it can. “With a more
diverse workforce comes years of experience,” says Manzi. “Whatever the age or skillset, we accommodate those people.”

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