Tesco are due to announce that they intend to change retirement age for their staff from 65 to 67. They will become the first major employer to make the change, and they believe the move will be popular.
Tesco Group Personnel Director Val Ewebrand (44) says the change is for the best. "We're not keen on the term retirement age," she insists, "We like to think of it as staff use-by date. We cherish our older staff, and want them to continue to add value to our organisation. Just remember, for every helpful, polite, experienced old person nearing retirement age, there's a sullen, gum-chewing teenager waiting to take their place."
A quick straw poll of Tesco customers showed support for the idea. A Mrs Brittle said she preferred till staff who were willing to talk to you, not just to their friend. And a Mr Gout said that he hated having to wait because he was buying beer when Sandra was on her break, or the assistant who knew what an aubergine was happened to be on a different till.
It seems that Tesco have already been in consultation with their staff about the issue, and according to Val Ewebrand there has been a great deal of support. "Certainly the store managers are keen. They say they need more people who can work three days in a row without a sick day, and fewer of those who think it's an infringement of their human rights not to be allowed to text while manning the deli counter."
Val also insists that the change of retirement age is voluntary. "Our staff will still be able to retire at 65 if they want to. In fact they can retire at any age they want - they just won't get any pension."