Garden centres have welcomed DTI legislation combating discrimination against older people in employment.
Consultation paper Equality & Diversity: Coming of Age may open the way for more people to continue working past the age of 65. If passed, the regulations will come into force on 1 October 2006.
Pat Adams, representative of the Garden Centre Association (GCA), confirmed that the new legislation is a way for garden centres to alleviate the skills crisis. She added: “Older people have a wealth of experience that can be greatly suited to garden centres — especially in the current skills crisis.”
B&Q already employs older people in its stores. Ian Cheshire, B&Q chief executive, said an age-diverse workforce reflects its customer profile better.
He added: “We have found that older workers have a conscientious attitude, a real enthusiasm and a great rapport with customers.”
Steve Myatt, GCA chairman and managing director of Walbreck Garden Centre, believes the industry is already employing older people. He said: “I feel garden centres are already ahead of other retailers in employing the 65-plus generation.”
The consultation period has now ended and the final version of the regulations will be published early in 2006.
Have you registered with us yet?
Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins
Sign up now