‘How an employer treats employees in the second half of their careers sends a powerful signal to younger workers’
CIBC, BASF Canada, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) and Desjardins Group are among the Top Employers for Canadians Over 40, according to Mediacorp, which runs the competition.
The competition reviews a wide range of practices at employers including: active recruitment programs for employees over 40; a broad range of health, financial and family-friendly benefits including long-term savings, health benefits for retirees and support programs such as succession planning and phased-in work options; and opportunities for retirees to stay socially connected with colleagues after they stop working.
"As part of their strategy to create exceptional workplaces, the best employers ensure they have programs and policies in place that demonstrate that employees are valued for their long-term experience," says Richard Yerema, managing editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. "They also offer opportunities for experienced employees to grow professionally and develop their skills, as more Canadians will be working into their later years and need to keep their skills sharp."
- CIBC provides retirement planning assistance with phased-in work options for those nearing retirement, in addition to maintaining a special committee to represent retirees' interests and provide input on policy review and development. Many longtime CIBC employees also save for retirement through the bank's share purchase plan, which has yielded significant gains over the years.
- BASF Canada helps employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning, employer contributions to a defined contribution (DC) pension plan and health plan coverage for retirees (with no age limit and 100 per cent company-paid premiums). The company also has formal mentorship programs to encourage knowledge and skills transfer to the next generation.
- CRA provides longtime employees with unpaid leaves of absence of up to 60 months and self-funded leaves of up to 12 months.
- AFSC helps employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning courses — that include dedicated courses for employees over and under 45 years of age — in addition to providing “generous” contributions to a defined benefit pension plan. The organization also considers previous experience when setting vacation entitlements for experienced hires.
- Desjardins Group helps employees save for retirement with a defined benefit (DB) pension plan, recognizes longtime employees with an annual awards gala, and maintains a special retiree association that has more than 5,000 members.
Business Development Bank of Canada, Enbridge, Simon Fraser University, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and the government of Yukon completed the list of 10 winners.
"How an employer treats its employees in the second half of their careers sends a powerful signal to younger workers and those thinking about joining an organization," says Anthony Meehan, publisher at Mediacorp. "It doesn't take a lot of foresight to realize 'that will be me soon' — employers that neglect this issue do so at their peril."