Asda and Sainsbury have nailed their colours to a government scheme to address age discrimination in the workplace. The Age Positive Campaign, spearheaded by minister of state for pensions Ian McCartney, was set up to raise the awareness of the need to base recruitment, training, promotion, and retirement decisions on ability rather than age. Sainsbury now offers arrangements which allow older staff to reduce the hours they spend at work gradually, and a new pension plan which allows staff to contribute until they are aged 75. These policies have contributed to nearly 15% of the company's workforce being over the age of 50. Sainsbury employment brand manager Glyn House said: "We recognise the benefits of employing a mixed age workforce to mirror changing demographics. "An age diverse workforce means that we can be flexible and are able to reflect our customer base." And Asda plans to use local demographics to recruit a workforce that accurately reflects the community it serves. Asda colleague relations manager Denise Brogan said: "An older workforce offers the sort of maturity, commitment and knowledge that is valued both by ourselves and our customers." And the minister commented: "We cannot afford to waste the talents, the energy and the experience of so many people. Sainsbury's and Asda are examples of how doing the right thing by your workforce brings nothing but benefits for companies." {{PEOPLE MOVES }}