'It is fantastic to see': Cork worker welcomes Lidl decision to remove mandatory retirement 

"I have worked all of my life and I am fit and healthy and want to continue as long as I can." 
'It is fantastic to see': Cork worker welcomes Lidl decision to remove mandatory retirement 

Pictured: Lidl Customer Assistant, Lidl Youghal, Carl O’Connor said the news was "fantastic to see". Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

A CORK-based Lidl Customer Assistant has described his relief that he will be able to work beyond the current retirement age.

On Friday, Lidl Ireland announced the removal of the mandatory retirement age clause to prospective and current employees.

The move means that all Lidl employees will have the option to continue their service beyond the current retirement age of 65 years old, effective in the coming weeks.

The announcement follows recent comments from Taoiseach Micheál Martin that major changes to the state pension system are on the way, which would allow employees more flexibility with regards to retirement and incentivise workers to continue to work until 70.

Customer Assistant at Lidl Youghal, Carl O’Connor said that the company’s announcement is “fantastic to see”.

“I joined Lidl in 2000 when Lidl first launched in Ireland and have worked with the company for twenty-two years. With the announcement of the Lidl’s retirement policy, for me it is fantastic to see. 

"I have worked all of my life and I am fit and healthy and want to continue as long as I can. It’s great that the opportunity is there to work on. 

"I was nervous when I was coming to the time of retirement, but I was reassured that there was no need to worry. It has been seamless with no changes to the way I work. Not being able to work past the current retirement age was of huge concern. I am delighted that I can plan ahead much longer into the future.”

He said he plans to continue to work as long as his body allows him to.

“It’s great to be able to continue the work that I enjoy and to have a purpose to the day. I enjoy going home after a day’s work and the fact that I could be sitting in the garden doesn’t cross my mind. I will have plenty time for that.”

A Lidl spokesperson said that the company currently offers a pension programme to all employees, and those who choose to continue their service can opt to extend their pension plan on an individual basis. They said the decision will also allow the retailer to attract more mature and life-experienced talent as well as offering more flexibility to current employees.

Speaking about the recent announcement and Lidl’s new upcoming policy change, Maeve McCleane, Chief People Officer at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “As one of the largest workforces in the country, we are aware of the broad scope of employees and age groups that work at Lidl, and we want to support those who would like to choose to continue working with us and are not limited by the mandatory retirement age. 

"At Lidl, we are really proud to continue to introduce people-centric policy updates that recognise the needs of our employees that are constantly evolving all the time as they progress through different stages of their lives and unlock a culture where everyone feels valued and empowered.”

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