Centrica has been shortlisted for two awards celebrating employer support for older workers:
- Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards 2015 ‘Championing an Ageing Workforce’ award
- Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards ‘Best for carers and eldercare’ award;
Centrica is one of three companies to be named a finalist in the ‘Championing an Ageing Workforce’ category of the BITC awards scheme which supports responsible business in the UK and abroad.
In addition, Working Families yesterday announced that Centrica has been shortlisted in the ‘Best for carers and eldercare’ category of the annual Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards, which champions the policies and practices of employers who offer exceptional flexible and family-friendly workplaces.
The number of people working past retirement age has almost doubled in the past 20 years (note 1) and it’s expected that by 2020, a third of the UK’s workforce will be aged over 50 (note 2). It is therefore crucial that businesses continue to attract, retain and provide effective support to those in the later stages of their working lives.
Centrica has already taken a leading role in providing opportunities for older workers by removing upper age limits for its apprenticeship schemes and the company’s graduate programme also seeks the inclusion of mature graduates.
As the majority of carers in the UK are often older members of the workforce (note 3), Centrica actively engages with employees with caring responsibilities to increase understanding of the challenges they face. Its dedicated Carers Network is in its tenth year and has grown to around 1,000 members.
Centrica is one of the few large companies to offer paid leave for carers, and around 1,000 carers have benefitted from paid carers leave in the last 12 months. Supporting carers in the workplace is about being a good employer and is also good for business. It reduces staff turnover, cuts recruitment and training costs, retains talent and experience, and builds resilience as well as improving employee engagement and wellbeing. The indirect cost of replacing staff equates to an estimated cost saving for Centrica of £2.5m in increased retention and £4.5m in reduced unplanned absenteeism.
Centrica is an active member of Employers for Carers, chaired by Ian Peters, Director of Customer Facing Strategy at British Gas, and the company contributed to a Government report by Dr Ros Altmann that highlighted the need for flexible working opportunities to attract older workers and carers back to the workplace.
Ian Peters, Director, Customer Facing Strategy at Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, said:
“We recognise that our people not only contribute significantly to our continued business success, but they also play a vital role in the lives of their families. We believe that carers make a substantial contribution so we remain committed to providing an inclusive and diverse workforce that benefits our people, our customers and our business.”
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said:
“The Responsible Business Awards give much needed visibility to organisations who are putting responsible behaviour at the heart of how they do business. The finalists are each playing their part to create a fairer society and more sustainable future by bringing to life the practical role that businesses can take to address some of our most pressing issues. We congratulate Centrica plc for being an inspirational example for others to learn from.”
Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families said:
"This is an exciting landmark year for the Top Employers for Working Families awards. The work-life and flexible working landscape is truly changing. In the last 12 months we’ve welcomed the extension of the Right to Request flexible working to all employees and the introduction of Shared Parental Leave for new parents. Employers who go the extra mile to offer support to parents, carers and flexible workers will attract the best staff and will reap the benefits of a loyal, engaged and productive workforce. The judging panel was impressed by the inspiring and innovative policies and practices in this year’s entrants and congratulate all finalists on gaining a hard-won place on the shortlist."
Centrica also sponsor Working Families’ ‘Best for flexible working’ award.
1 Department for Work and Pensions, Fuller Working Lives – A Framework for Action.
2 Office for National Statistics, Labour market projections 2006-2020.
3 The peak age for carer employees is between 45-64 when careers are peaking having already gained valuable skills and experience: Employers for Carers, Business case.
For more information about Centrica please contact:
Centrica Media Relations: 0800 107 7014
Business in the Community press office:
Ochuko Adekoya: 020 7566 8758/ 07921 941 536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Working Families press office:
Liz Whitehead: 020 7253 7243 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors
About Business in the Community's Responsible Business Awards
Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards celebrate the powerful and positive role of business in society. The Awards are the most prestigious and respected corporate responsibility awards, set up to identify and celebrates businesses of all sizes in the UK and abroad whose programmes are tackling key social and environmental issues to create a fairer society and more sustainable future for all.
Now in its 18th year, the Responsible Business Awards are rigorously assessed by independent peers from businesses and other industry experts. The awards are widely acknowledged as one of the most respected endorsements of responsible business.
The awards in numbers:
In 2015 Business in the Community received 414 entries for the Responsible Business Awards shortlisted 145 and chose 63 finalists.
About Working Families
Working Families is the UK’s leading work-life organisation. The charity supports and gives a voice to working parents and carers, whilst also helping employers create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone. www.workingfamilies.org.uk
The Working Families helpline for parents, carers and their advisers gives advice on employment rights and benefits. Call 0300 012 0312 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Top Employers for Working Families awards
The Carers UK and National Grid best for carers and eldercare award shortlist:
- University of Lincoln
- Ministry of Justice
- West Dunbartonshire Council
Case studies of previous award winners are available here.
The winners of the Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony on 16th June at Vintners’ Hall, London.
Judging Panel. The final winners of each Special Award category were judged by the following panel: Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive, Working Families; Katie Jacobs, Editor, HR magazine; Mary Mercer, Associate Principal Consultant, Institute for Employment Studies; Sue Lewis, Professor of Organisational Psychology in the School of Leadership, Work and Organisation at Middlesex University Business School; Charlotte Sweeney, consultant, thought leader and writer on diversity, inclusion, engagement and wellbeing; and Jonathan Swan, Research Officer, Working Families. The judging process for the Special Awards is anonymous - none of the judges knows the identity of the companies which they are judging.