Bank leads fight to keep mature employees
By Brad Norington
THE ANZ Bank will guarantee employees aged over 55 the right to switch to part-time work in a bid to retain its mature skilled workforce.
Launching the policy yesterday, the bank said it wanted to challenge traditional notions of retirement and confront the issue of an ageing workforce.
Of 18,000 ANZ employees across Australia, about 6 per cent of the bank's staff are aged 55 or over. ANZ spokeswoman Kate Gore said the plan was meant to retain staff who were highly engaged and valued for their work.
The new policy will give staff aged over 55 with at least five years service the right to move to a part-time position.
Negotiations will be conducted between employees and their direct manager, allowing them to remain in their current role or move to another position with the bank if their current job cannot be sustained with part-time hours. The bank has no retirement age.
Ms Gore said a typical move might be to reduce working hours from 38 hours, five days a week, to two or three days work. But she said arrangements would be flexible and depend on the particular job of the employee.
One possibility was that staff not needed for face-to-face customer service could do one day "tele-commuting", allowing them to work from home.
John Freedman, 70, already works part-time under an arrangement he says suits him and the bank.
Mr Freedman, who handles services for the high net-worth clientele of the ANZ's Private Bank in Martin Place, Sydney, works five days a week but does not do a full working week.
"I'm a nine-to-four bloke I guess," he said. "I enjoy the discipline of coming in each day and the relationships I have getting on with my colleagues."