Norway — Senior policy measures at St. Olav’s Hospital
St. Olav’s Hospital employs 9,726 people, 2,000 of whom are aged over 55 years. Early retirement costs are high and the hospital wishes to retain experienced workers. While there is no legal requirement, St. Olav’s developed a senior policy in partnership with its trade unions and external consultants. From the age of 55, employees are offered measures including additional leave (‘senior days’), training and seminars, pension information, mentoring co-workers and discussions of work ability during appraisals. Older workers continue to have access to training, education leave and career counselling. In its evaluation, the Work Research Institute found that the average retirement age had increased by six months and that there were high levels of job satisfaction. Older workers reported the most valuable factors to be extra leave and development programmes. Improvements are needed in management training, experience exchange and development programmes. St. Olav’s was recognised nationally for its senior policy (2011). Success factors include the commitment by top management, stakeholder involvement, flexible decision-making and long-term focus. The policy is transferable, including to smaller organisations, with modifications.