Westpac: 2014 AARP Best Employers International Award Recipient

Publish Date: October  16,  2014


Industry: Financial Services
Location: Sydney, Australia
Employees: 39,108; Percentage of age 50-plus employees: approximately 20 percent 

The Westpac Group has branches and controlled entities throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the near Pacific region, and has offices in key financial centers around the world. The company was among the first Australian organizations to address issues pertaining to an older workforce. Over time, the company has increased its focus on the age diversity of its workforce and on creating a better quality of life for older employees.

The organization is proud to have seen an increase in its older workforce over the past 3 years, with over 20 percent of employees now aged 50 or older. Because Westpac values the knowledge and experience that these employees provide to the workforce, the organization is committed to supporting older employees as they plan their late career pathways and transition to retirement.

Caregiving and Flexible Work
Employee resources include the Westpac Group Carer’s Concierge (a resource for employees who have older adult care responsibilities), an Eldercare Toolkit, a Flexible Working “Mainstreaming Flexibility” Toolkit, a well-being site, volunteer opportunities, the Westpac Retired Officer’s Club, access to financial products, free finance courses, and the services of financial planners at a staff rate.

Westpac has pioneered a flexible work environment for older employees and continues to expand flexible work arrangements for older workers through innovative policy (e.g., it is the first corporation in Australia to introduce leave for grandparents) and through toolkits supporting flexible work practices.

Extending Working Years
“Prime of Life” (50-plus) is a key program within Westpac’s Diversity and Flexibility Strategy. It is aimed at increasing Westpac’s mean retirement age to 62 by 2017 and maximizing participation among its age 50-plus workforce. These priorities have also become key elements of Westpac’s corporate sustainability strategy. An Employee Action Group (EAG) formed under the Prime of Life banner provides regular input on diversity initiatives and helps to clarify the expectations of older employees. Monthly newsletters sent by EAG to its membership include information about company offerings, profiles of age 50-plus employees and their career stories, and relevant news.