Employers and recruiters should be aware of the implications surrounding the possible scrapping of the default retirement age, according to an employment lawyer.
As part of his Emergency Budget speech, George Osborne announced plans for the government to consult on how to scrap the default retirement age from April 2011.
Jo Broadbent, senior lawyer at Hogan Lovells, says that scrapping the default retirement age should be “on the radar” of both in-house and external recruiters and added: “They shouldn’t ‘park’ the issue.”
She suggested two ways companies could deal with its removal: “The first thing they could do is just accept that they have to operate without a default retirement age; the second is that companies could impose their own retirement age, but that could be difficult from a legal point of view.”
Campaign group the Employers’ Forum on Age agreed that it should now become an issue for employers: “The default retirement age is fundamentally discriminatory, based on the assumption that age affects someone’s ability to do their job.
“The Employers Forum on Age (EFA) has been campaigning against the default retirement age for many years and works with a number of employers, including many government departments, which report that operating without the default retirement age has resulted in significant business benefits.
“Employers who are currently using the DRA should start planning now to ensure they are ready for this change. Understanding the experience of employers operating without a DRA will be essential, and will give them confidence to allow employees to choose when they retire and to put the policies and processes in place to make the most of an age diverse workforce.”
The benefits of working for as long as one wants to are more than that of carrying on earning! It is a human desire to be with others in the ‘beehive’ of work, where the employee feels part of a collective contribution to the economy, country, world and it is becoming an accepted fact that good health, both physical and mental, come from a human being fully engaged in work.
The mandatory retirement age that many companies adopt of 65, should be scrapped and companies should look at B & Q & Tesco, who have a diverse age-group of employees, where the wisdom of experience, coupled with the bravery of youthful inexperience, is a strong, successful force. The mantra should surely be, “not work ‘til you drop, but choose when to stop”.
Sarah Johnson – Dylan