Managing well – even aged 70!

JEAN Manchett has no intention of retiring and putting her feet up – even though she is 70 years old. Jean, who runs the lighting department of the Focus store in March, has been working at the store for 16 years and is determined to carry on for as long

JEAN Manchett has no intention of retiring and putting her feet up - even though she is 70 years old.

Jean, who runs the lighting department of the Focus store in March, has been working at the store for 16 years and is determined to carry on for as long as she enjoys it.

Focus is one company which has been persuaded of the benefits of employing workers who are past the usual retirement age but still able to do their jobs well.

New research by the Department for Work and Pensions says employers in Fenland should do more to tackle age discrimination.


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Jean, who cycles the five-mile round trip to work every day and enjoys cookery and gardening, said: "I chose my current job because, after having two children, I wanted the challenge of shop work again. I was 54 and I thought I wouldn't get the job regarding age but found I was accepted after my first interview.

"When I reached retirement age I approached my regional manager and asked if I had to retire. He actually turned round and told me that my skills were now needed to run the new lighting department, which was great. I was told I could carry on as long as I was fit and able to work."

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James Purnell, Minister for Pension Reform, said: "As announced in the Pensions White Paper, we are working with employers to remove compulsory retirement ages and adopt flexible approaches. We recognise we have an ageing population, with many older people who want the choice to continue working rather than retire.

"We know older workers have a lower rate of absenteeism and are better motivated. And we believe this has a positive impact for businesses which can benefit from a more flexible workforce with a wider range of skills and abilities.

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