Norwich Union research reveals that employers coulddo more to support older workers

Article date: 13 October 2005

  • Third Age Employment Network conference speechhighlights that people are prevented from working as long as theywish due to barriers in workplace.

New research from Norwich Union reveals that nearly two-thirdsof 45-54 year olds worry they will be prevented from working aslong as they choose because of barriers in the workplace.

Norwich Union asked people what factors they thought would stopthem working as long as they liked. Their responses were:

  • Compulsory retirement age at work (13%)
  • Employer culture does not support older workers (22%)
  • No part-time flexibility (17%)
  • No job opportunities for older people (12%)

Lack of job satisfaction in older workers prompts those who canafford it, to take early retirement. But many people want tocontinue to work past 65 as they enjoy the mental stimulation andsocial interaction at work. Therefore acceptance of older employeesin the company culture is paramount.

Norwich Union is currently focussing on age diversificationamongst its employees, and is reviewing recruitment practices toattract older workers and offer a flexible and attractive workingpolicy to these new workers. New policies ensure that older workersfeel valued and confident that they can continue working for aslong as they wish, in order to afford a comfortable retirement.

This recruitment drive demonstrates Norwich Union's commitmentto its customers and improving their experience of the company. Theaverage age of a Norwich Union customer is 50, and older employeeswill help to build a more personalised and experienced approach.Knowledge, experience and commitment, all common traits of olderworkers, will help to give depth to our customer's experience.

Sandy Wilson, head of HR policy and reward at Norwich Union, isspeaking at the Third Age Employment Network conference thisafternoon. He will encourage employers to take steps to ensure thatemployees want to stay in work longer.

He explains, “Promotion of a culture that embraces andvalues the knowledge and expertise of older workers is key toputting the retirement decision back into the hands ofemployees.

Norwich Union is already working to improve its stance on agediversity. Its aim is to enrich our working environment by creatinga workforce that is more flexible, more creative and morereflective of our customer base. From the products that we offer,to our HR policies, we want to ensure that our employees andcustomers have the power to make their own retirementdecisions.”


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Cheryl Cox

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Notes to Editor

For more information concerning the research or for a copy ofthe speech given by Sandy Wilson, please contact the Norwich UnionPress Office on the numbers above.

Norwich Union

Norwich Union is one of the UK's biggest insurers. It is aleading provider of life, pensions and investment products and oneof the largest Financial Adviser (FA) providers. IFAs provide over70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including CIS and The Royal Bankof Scotland Group. Norwich Union's news releases and a selection ofimages are available from Aviva's internet press centre .

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