The Ageing Workforce Award

*Please note, entries to the Responsible Business Awards have now closed. The announcement of the Responsible Business Awards Longlist will be made during Responsible Business Week on 23 April.

For businesses that are succeeding by adapting their workplaces for an ageing workforce.

The number of people aged 65 and over has grown by almost half over the last 40 years, and they now make up nearly one fifth of the population. By 2050 it is expected to nearly double, to around 19 million. This means the workforce is ageing too.

The need to retain, retrain and recruit older workers is becoming increasingly important. We no longer have a default retirement age, therefore entrenched social norms must be addressed to ensure that recruitment, training and progression are accessible for men and women of all ages. Real change is needed to address age bias and discrimination. Enabling older people to stay in work will bring benefits to all.

The business case for taking action on age at work

The economy, people and skills:

  • Individuals aged 50 will make up 50 per cent of the UK population by the mid-2030s.
  • The population aged 50 years and over will increase, whilst the younger population will decline. It is estimated that there will be an increase of 800,000 individuals aged 50-64 years old and a decline of 300,000 individuals aged 16-24 (DWP, 2017).
  • As the population ages, it will become increasingly difficult to provide for a growing retired population.  Adding one year to everyone’s working life could increase GDP by 1 per cent per year , this is the equivalent to £18bn in 2015 (NIESR).

Improving customer service and products:

  • A workforce that reflects your customer demographics will have invaluable insight into the products and services that will be most successful.
  •  Age-diverse workplaces benefit from a range of experiences, ideas and ways of thinking. There are huge opportunities for businesses to harness the knowledge and creativity of multiple generations.

The Ageing Workforce Award identifies those businesses that are responding to these emerging needs, and in turn are maximising the business’ resilience to a growing ageing workforce.

“We are living longer than ever before, yet far too many people fall out of the workforce early. Without more older workers active in the workplace there are significant risks for UK plc that we will not have the workforce or skills we need to be a competitive nation. Businesses must wake up to the challenge of extending working lives.” - Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre-UK


A successful entry will be able to demonstrate that the business is:

  • Supporting and enabling older workers to stay and thrive in work, enabling longer and fuller working lives.
  • Creating and maximising the benefits of an intergenerational workforce.

Examples of activities could include:

  • Addressing the challenges of extended working lives, such as combining work with caring for relatives, or managing chronic health conditions and disabilities in the workplace.
  • Flexible working and job design, which is good for both business and for older workers balancing work with other responsibilities.
  • Taking action to remove age-bias from management processes, such as recruitment, performance reviews, promotions and redundancies.
  • Encouraging the take-up of training and development opportunities for all workers, including training targeted at skills gaps for older workers, and developing a range of training formats.
  • Providing careers guidance to older workers, such as a midlife career review, and encouraging a culture of development at any age and stage of their career.
  • Supporting a staged transition to retirement, including pre-retirement support and offering different opportunities for older workers to continue working.
  • Creating a work environment where intergenerational communication is encouraged and facilitated.
  • Examining the workplace culture for ageism and adapting workspaces so that older workers can thrive.

For help completing your entry please download the guidance document and scoring guide.


This category is open to all members of Business in the Community (BITC) and any non-member private sector business.

  • The business should be entering for a programme that goes above and beyond the core purpose of the business.
  • The entry should focus on the development, roll out and impact achieved in the UK.
  • Businesses of any size can enter and will have an equal chance of winning as entries will be assessed against the scoring guide and not against each other.
  • We recognise that the employer response to an ageing workforce is a relatively new challenge, and therefore it is not a precondition for entry that your initiative or programme has been running for at least a year. However, we recommend that entries include at least some evidence of impact or plans to scale up and measure impact.

Deadline 17:00 GMT on Friday 9 February 2018.

Contact details

For more details, please contact Jenny Lincoln:

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