What the RSPCA is doing to support their older workers
The RSPCA is the largest and oldest animal welfare charity within the UK, and has a workforce of 1500 staff, and over 7000 volunteers of varying ages.
In this blog, Andy Jasper Employee Relations Manager at the RSPCA talks about how they have fostered an age-friendly culture.
The RSPCA has been rescuing and rehoming animals, educating and campaigning for higher animal welfare standards across England and Wales for almost 200 years. We rely heavily on our workforce of 1500 staff, and over 7000 volunteers of varying ages and across over 140 branches to deliver our strategy “together for animal welfare”.
We have a committed workforce who all share a passion for caring and supporting animals. For example, many of our colleagues have chosen to retire but continue to support the work of the RSPCA through volunteering We feel it is important to recognise this contribution and support our colleagues at all stages of their lives. We have therefore taken a number of actions to improve retention and development of workers over 50 and create an age-friendly culture.
To help retain colleagues aged over 50, we are flexible about flexible working opportunities at the RSPCA. We have introduced hybrid working and core hours meaning colleagues can work from home and choose the hours they work in line with business needs. This, alongside our new flexible working policy, allows colleagues to reduce or adjust their hours so they can continue working whilst also pursuing other interests outside of work.
We have a number of positive initiatives to ensure that colleagues over 50 have the health support they need to remain in the workplace as long as they wish to. This is achieved through partnering with our occupational health provider and Employee Assistance Program to support colleagues over 50 with workplace adaptations. Our Menopause toolkit supports and educates our colleagues on how this change can impact people at work and ensures that we support colleagues during a potentially difficult and stressful time.
Through our toolkit we have created a caring, positive and open environment. In addition, we offer colleagues a generous health care scheme and group income protection to support them during periods of illness. We promote an age-friendly culture at the RSPCA by offering a generous pension scheme and life insurance cover, coupled with retirement planning workshops.
This ensures our colleagues can plan and prepare for the future, making decisions that best suit them and their life choices. The impact of these colleague benefits is low staff turnover. We therefore encourage career development at all ages by offering excellent training and career development opportunities to all colleagues, including those over 50. And this means we have some colleagues staying with the RSPCA for most or all of their working lives.! Through these, and other benefits, we have achieved Disability Confident level 2 status. We are proud of our commitments that support workers over 50, and in doing so create an open, transparent, diverse and inclusive culture for all ages