McDonald's races to hire over-50s as companies seek to lure retirees back to work




  • In Business
  • 2022-08-14 07:00:00Z
  • By The Telegraph
McDonalds
McDonalds  

McDonald's has kicked off a recruitment drive to hire more over-50s, amid a scramble by businesses across the country to fill jobs with retirees.

The fast-food behemoth is among companies launching fresh recruitment campaigns targeting older workers, with adverts posted by McDonald's showing a grey-haired worker who "isn't the retiring type" enjoying a job with the chain.

Photographs of over-50s are also being used to advertise jobs at one of the UK's largest insurers as part of a wider fightback against age bias.

Phoenix Group, whose boss Andy Briggs was made the Government's business champion for older workers in 2017, said it has added more photos of grey-haired workers to its recruitment page amid fears that older people are being discriminated against when it comes to hiring.

The move comes months after the business banned what it deemed "younger-age stereotypical words" such as "energetic" and "enthusiastic" in job adverts to avoid deterring older applicants.

Mr Briggs said that too many recruitment pages are full of "attractive young people" and added: "There's still significant age bias in recruitment."

The company will also be rolling out so-called 'mid-life MOTs' for all staff over 45 later this year which will give staff a chance to review their wealth, health and career.

Efforts by Phoenix and McDonald's to appeal to more older workers emerged days after Dame Sharon White urged the Government to encourage over-50s to rejoin the workforce.

She said introducing flexible retirement plans and skills courses for older workers to retrain in different jobs could encourage people back into work.

The Office for National Statistics found late last year that there were 180,000 fewer over-50s in work than before the pandemic. Last September, 362,000 over-50s were unemployed and 3.5m 50-64 year olds were economically inactive.
Studies have shown that older applicants are less likely to be offered an interview than younger job-seekers with less experience.

Mr Briggs said in 2017 that if Britain hires an extra 1m staff aged 50 to 69 by 2022 then GDP could be boosted by £88bn. Major employers including Co-op, Boots and Barclays then vowed to create a more silver-haired workforce.

However, sources said earlier this year that the mission had largely been abandoned. The "whole thing has just fizzled out, nothing ever really happened," said one person. Even Aviva, Mr Briggs' former employer, dropped its target to have 1,000 extra over-50s by 2022, saying interests have evolved to focus on diversity more broadly.

Recent efforts to retain and hire older women include focusing on the impact menopause can have on workers.

Timpson last year became the first UK company to pay for menopause prescriptions, while others have said those going through menopause could take paid leave.

A spokesman for McDonald's said: "We are exceptionally proud of our inclusive and diverse workforce, and our latest recruitment campaign reflects that.

"We have a long history of employing older workers, who are an integral part of our restaurant teams across the UK & Ireland."

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