Jobs: Default retirement age has been scrapped

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EMPLOYEES cannot now be forced out of work because of their age, following the abolition of the Default Retirement Age on October 1.

Before the law was changed the DRA - 65 for men for example - was one of the ways employers could legally make someone redundant.

The abolition of the DRA means employees will be able to decide when they want to retire, unless they are made redundant for another legal reason. Companies will have to review their recruitment policies to ensure they continue to stay within the law.

Liz Field, chief executive of the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP), said: “The experience and benefits older employees can bring to business should be harnessed. In these difficult economic times, older workers can add resilience to a business’ workforce offering a vital blend of hard-soft skills that allow them to react in a more productive manner to economic crises.

“This group tends to be very competent and reliable, inherently understands employer expectations and usually do not require much additional training, although such training may need to be delivered in a more flexible way. In some ways this group actually beats their younger counterparts in areas like soft skills including; attitude, work ethic, teamwork ability, problem solving and commitment by using the total sum of their life skills and work experiences – all of which are highly valued by employers.”

The legislation marked the completion of the phasing out of the retirement age which began in April when employers were no longer able to issue notifications for compulsory retirement using the DRA procedure. Employers are now being urged to consider a more flexible approach to recruitment and utilise the valuable skills base.