International legal practice Osborne Clarke has signed up to the Age-friendly Employer Pledge – a new nationwide programme run by the Centre for Ageing Better to make workplaces age-friendly. The firm is among one of the first legal businesses and organisations across the country to sign the pledge, affirming its commitment to older workers.

The firm is working closely with the Centre for Ageing Better to review and, where necessary, improve its recruitment, retention and development of workers aged 50 and over. The Age-friendly Pledge provides the firm with a framework of suggested actions and opportunities to improve its age-friendly practices such as drawing on a wider pool of applicants for each job, supporting older workers to thrive and tracking progress.

We're proud to sign up to the pledge as it will help guide our efforts with our people and clients over the coming years.

Osborne Clarke Partners Julian Hemming, Ian Hyde and Danielle Kingdon, all share a personal interest and passion for age inclusion and will act as the firm's senior sponsors.  The trio will be accountable for ensuring age is more prominently addressed within the firm's equality, diversity and inclusion strategy.

"We're proud to sign up to the pledge as it will help guide our efforts with our people and clients over the coming years.  It's great to see that many of the recommendations are in line with discussions already being held within Osborne Clarke, especially following the recent launch of our Age network", said Julian.

Ian added, "For too long age has defined how we react to people, but people are reinventing their careers and their lives and we need to reinvent the parameters on which we engage and support people, and attract talent."

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “The current labour shortage has been called the most urgent problem facing the UK economy with its impact driving up prices, wages and inflation. Workers in their 50s and 60s are a key, but currently overlooked, solution to resolving the UK’s employment crisis.

“Older workers can bring much-needed skills and experience to an organisation. Businesses with a 10% higher share of workers over 50 than the average are 1.1% more productive – and multigenerational teams are the most innovative.

“We are delighted Osborne Clarke has joined the growing number of organisations committing to helping their older workers to prosper by signing our Age-friendly Employer Pledge.

“The pledge has been designed to support businesses to go on a journey at a pace that works best for each organisation. By taking manageable and measurable steps, each employer will learn over time what steps are needed to make the biggest difference in their own organisation.”

Working closely with the Partner Champions are Associate Director Penny Coombs and Legal Director Claire Bowles, Co-Chairs of the firm's Age Network. "We recently launched out employee age network that will be looking at common age-related issues affecting all of our people. While post-retirement age issues are very important to us, we are also looking at issues across the age spectrum that affect those who are younger or starting their career as well as those who are somewhere in the middle. So we will be working closely with diversity strands across the firm to look at Age through an intersectional lens," said Penny.

The Age-friendly employer pledge:

  • Identify a senior sponsor for age-inclusion in our workforce – and publicly state our commitment to the pledge
  • Ensure that age is specifically addressed within our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies
  • Take specific action to improve the recruitment, retention and development of workers over 50, from the areas listed below.
  • Create an age-friendly culture
  • Hire age-positively
  • Be flexible about flexible working
  • Encourage career development at all ages
  • Ensure everyone has the health support they need
  • Commit to take action in a least one area every year, and report back on activities and achievements annually.

Being a responsible and ethical business and employer underpins Osborne Clarke's business strategy. The Osborne Clarke For Good framework is the firm's way of ensuing it's a good corporate citizen, a good employer and a good business.

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