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23 Mar 2017

Potential opportunity to work more flexibly as employees prepare for their future retirement

British Steel is providing employees with a potential opportunity to work more flexibly as they prepare for their future retirement.

The company has recently made changes to its Pre-Retirement policy that it believes offer a win-win situation for both the business and individuals who are coming towards the end of their working career. It has also adopted a more open approach for individuals wishing to look at more flexible working arrangements.

British Steel Managing Director Paul Martin said: “As a company we value and rely heavily on the vast experience and knowledge that many of our older employees possess. We also recognise the social benefit of promoting access to employment for younger people. 

“An important factor in effectively planning for succession, so that younger employees have the opportunity to succeed as their careers progress, is to ensure an efficient handover and transfer of experience and knowledge when colleagues retire. Our updated Pre-Retirement policy is in place to assist with this transition.”

If employees wish to retire from the business and are willing to provide 9 months’ notice of their intention to retire, they are able to access a number of additional benefits. These include receipt of a lump sum payment equivalent to an additional  month’s salary, an increased number of wind down days from 5 to 10 and, if they wish, an enhanced medical at the point of leaving the business.

Paul said: “If colleagues are happy to remain in employment for a longer period in the run up to retirement it enables us to plan effectively for the vacancy that will become available. It also gives time to properly train and transfer knowledge to the individual who replaces the position of the retiree.”

The company’s Pre-Retirement policy has been updated in conjunction with union representatives who are fully supportive.

British Steel Multi-union Chairman Paul McBean said: “Most employees are now deferred members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) which means colleagues, over 50, can now access the benefits of this pension. A number of colleagues have left our business in recent months, accessed their BSPS fund and taken up alternative part time work with other organisations.

“Whilst traditionally the business has found it difficult to consider flexible working requests, especially for shift workers and those who aren’t office based, it’s now looking to be much more flexible and open to any such requests. In my opinion if all our colleagues have the option of part-time work with us rather than leave and work part-time in another organisation it’s a positive for everyone.

“This approach is another example of British Steel becoming a more forward and outward looking organisation – it should be another constructive step on our journey to sustainability.”

Employees who are thinking of retiring from the company or who are interested in a part-time or job share arrangement have been asked to let the company know.

Paul Martin said: “It’s only when we have visibility of how many employees this might be that we can start to assess what changes we can make to working patterns and job roles while ensuring the long term capability of our overall workforce.”

Pictured are Multi-union Chairman Paul McBean and British Steel Managing Director Paul Martin.