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2011 Best Employers - International

The Co-operative Group

This firm abolished its mandatory retirement age and offers flexible pension options

EAP help can be provided over issues relating to financial services, family care and legal issues. Every month, health and well-being factsheets are published on the Group intranet.  

Diversity Promotion: In 2006, The Co-operative Group abolished its mandatory retirement age of 65. The Group believes that abolishing this policy is consistent with its diversity and inclusion policy. Retirement has become a matter of choice.

The Co-operative Diversity & Inclusion policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of age. The Group offers an online diversity training course across a number of diversity related topics. One module is Realizing the Benefits of an Age-Diverse Workforce. The Group's interviewing and recruitment course, Right First Time, includes a session on diversity, which sets out the legal and business case against age discrimination.

Recruitment: In order to ensure the Co-operative Group continues to be open to the key population of talent in a non-discriminatory way, the Group took several steps in the recruitment process. For example, the applicant's date of birth is requested in the optional diversity monitoring section of the application form and not the compulsory personal details section. Also, each application form they receive is read and marked by one of their trained managers to ensure that every applicant is being judged upon their individual merit.

Miscellaneous: The Co-operative Group has been recognized by the UK Government Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) as delivering best practices in relation to working without a default retirement age. The Group is referenced in the DWP's guide for business.

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