Employees who do not want to retire

People live longer today, but most people stop working when they are 65 years old. However, not everyone retires at 65. Some enterprises have employees who are in their 70s, 80s or even 90s. Britain’s oldest employee, Buster Martin, cleans vans part-time for Pimlico Plumbers. He is 101 years old. The company also employs a 78-year-old driver and a personal assistant who is 66. Charlie Mullins, Managing Director and owner, says: „We don’t have a retirement age. If they can do the job and want to stay on, they can. It’s their choice.”

Why do people work if they do not have to? Some people just like being busy and useful. Companies employ older workers because they have experience, are courteous and work hard.

Reed Boardall is another company that employs elderly people. Keith Boardall, Managing Director, is 72, but works from nine to six every day. His most senior employee is 88 and looks after the company car fleet.

The Co-operative Group also employs older people. Edwin Boxall, one of the Co-op’s older employees, works part-time as a post-office manager. „I’m 75 on my next birthday and I might retire then. But I’m quite fit and I enjoy work, so why can’t I continue?”


Ex.1 Match the Polish words to their English equivalents from the text:
1. przejść na emeryturę
2. zatrudniać
3. wybór
4. zajęty
5. użyteczny
6. doświadczenie
7. uprzejmy
8. starszy
9. w dobrej formie
10. kontynuować

 busy  choice  continue  courteous  elderly  employ  experience  fit  retire  senior  useful


Ex.2 Match these words from the two columns to form collocations:
1. personal                              age
2. managing                           assistant
3. retirement                         director
4. car                                       employee
5. senior                                 fleet


Ex.3 Say these sentences in English using some expressions from the previous exercises:
1. Chciałbym jak najszybciej (as soon as possible) przejść na emeryturę.
2. Starsi pracownicy powinni mieć wybór by kontynuować pracę.
3. Nasz dyrektor zarządzający jest bardzo uprzejmy.

I know English idioms!

Our reading text dals with the topic of elderly employees. It might be useful then to introduce this age-related idiomatic expression:
– to feel your age = to realize that you are no longer young (poczuć się staro)
– Everybody there looked under 20 and I really felt my age.


Phrasals, phrasals…

This lesson’s text lists a useful phrasal verb:
– stay on = continue to be in your job or school after the other people have left (pozostać w zawodzie). Let’s see it in two more examples:
– Jane decided to stay on at university to do further research.
– We asked him to stay on as a mentor for younger employees.


Grammar corner

Let’s study these fragments of the reading text:
“(…) most people stop working when they are 65 years old”, “Some people just like being busy (…)”. If we look at the underlined parts we may see that they both have the same grammar forms: verbs ending in „-ing”. They are there because of the verbs which go before: „stop” and „like”. These verbs require the use of the „-ing” form. Other typical ones are:
– avoid
– delay
– enjoy
– finish
– practice
– recommend
– risk
– suggest


employee – pracownik
to retire – przejść na emeryturę
most – większość
however – jednakże
enterprise – przedsiębiorstwo
to clean – czyścić
van – samochód dostawczy
part-time – w niepełnym wymiarze godzin
to employ – zatrudniać
driver – kierowca
personal assistant – asystent(ka)
managing director – dyrektor zarządzający
owner – właściciel
retirement age – wiek emerytalny
to stay on – zostać (w zawodzie)
choice – wybór
busy – zajęty
useful – użyteczny, przydatny
experience – doświadczenie
courteous – uprzejmy, kurtuazyjny
elderly – starszy
most senior – najstarszy
to look after – opiekować się
car fleet – flota samochodów
co-operative – spółdzielnia
fit – w dobrej formie
to enjoy – lubić
to continue – kontynuować

download lesson (pdf)


Ex.1 1. retire 2. employ 3. choice 4. busy 5. useful 6. experience 7. courteous 8. elderly/senior 9. fit 10. continue Ex.2
1. personal assistant
2. managing director
3. retirement age
4. car fleet
5. senior employee

1. I would like to retire as soon as possible.
2. Elderly/senior employees should have a choice to continue work.
3. Our managing director is very courteous.