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Case Code: CLHR063
Case Length: 5 pages
Period: 2005-2019
Pub Date: 2020
Teaching Note: Available
Subject : Human Resources/ Organization Behavior
Organization :Centrica Plc.
Industry :Utilities
Countries : United Kingdom

Centrica`s Initiatives for Older Workers



The case ‘Centrica’s Initiatives for Older Workers’ focuses on the different policies initiated and updated by Centrica plc (Centrica), a UK-based multi-national supplier of energy and related services, to hire as well as retain older workers (those between 45 and 64) amidst the twin challenges of a decline in working-age population and an increase in the number of employed older workers. The company also took various steps to accommodate carers (people who have the responsibility of taking care of elderly or sick or disabled members of the family) since several older workers had someone who were fully dependent on them. These initiatives were part of Centrica’s strategy to have a diverse workforce in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity. To make Centrica attractive to older workers, the management removed the pre-existing age restriction for entry into the apprenticeship program offered by British Gas (a subsidiary). The human resources team also took tangible steps to remove bias toward older workers while hiring and provided them with options such as flexibility to work from home or to work for fewer hours. Moreover, all new and existing employees had to attend a special training session that made them aware of the legislations passed by the UK government pertaining to the hiring, retaining, and promotion of older workers at workplaces and the norms regarding acceptable and unacceptable behavior toward them. The challenge was whether Centrica would be able to continue its age and carer-friendly policies in future following its poor financial performance and announcement of job cuts in 2018 and 2019 and whether these initiatives would continue to offer the benefits accrued in the past.
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  • Understand the benefits of a diverse workforce in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity.
  • Learn about the initiatives to hire and retain older workers and carers.
  • Realize the importance of continuously holding discussions with employees and accordingly updating policies on a regular basis.
  • Become aware of the benefits of being an age-friendly organization.
  • Learn about the various needs of older workers in an organization.
Centrica plc (Centrica) was a UK-based multinational supplier of energy and related services to customers in the UK, Ireland, and North America. Centrica valued diversity in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity in its workforce as it strongly believed that a diverse workforce was the key to continuous improvements being made in operations and customer service since people from diverse backgrounds and cultures brought more ideas and opinions to the workplace. To ensure that people from different backgrounds and age groups felt comfortable and included at the workplace and performed to the best of their abilities, Centrica introduced several policy measures for women, carers, people from ethnic minorities, older workers (aged between 45 and 64), and people with physical disabilities...


Diversity Management, Employee Retention, Employee Benefits, Career Planning, Leave Policy, Employee Learning, Diversity Training, Older Workers

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