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Phil Wynn Owen, a director general at the Department for Work and Pensions, presented ASDA's people director, David Smith, with an Age Positive Employer Champion certificate, recognising ASDA's continued good practice on age diversity, when he visited the supermarket's head office in Leeds on Friday (1st December).    

During the visit, discussion took place around the challenges of a mixed age workforce and employment practices, as well as innovations which encourage age diversity and the recruitment, retention and development of older workers.   

David Smith, ASDA's people director, said: "We were delighted to host the DWP's director general at our head office and talk to him about how we put age diversity into practice. 



"We've always been really proud of the fact that we have such a diverse workforce with colleagues as young as 16, whilst others are in their 80's. We're in no doubt that this benefits everyone, especially our customers. 


"We've understood for many years now that an older workforce offers maturity, commitment and knowledge, which our customers value. 



"Over the years, we've found that some of our best colleagues are also some of our oldest, with loads of experience to share with younger colleagues – they make a massive difference to our stores."   


ASDA is one of the UK’s biggest private sector employers of the over 50s, with more than 30,000 older workers amongst its colleagues. 


Not only has the supermarket embraced the new age discrimination legislation that came into force in October, but it also has policies in place going beyond the legislation with no official retirement age and no age limit for recruitment.   

In addition, ASDA no longer asks people applying for a job at any of its 313 stores across the UK to give their date of birth on their application form, reinforcing the fact that age does not play any part in its recruitment process. 

The Age Positive campaign is run by the Department for Work and Pensions, promoting the benefits of employing a mixed-age workforce including older and younger people, and encouraging employers to make decisions about recruitment, training and retention that do not discriminate against someone because of their age. 


ASDA has been an Age Positive Employer Champion since 2000.

Posted in Press Centre on 04 December 2006