Millions of people could be working until they are 70 if new government proposal about age discrimin...
Millions of people could be working until they are 70 if new government proposal about age discrimination comes into force.
In the consultation document 'Age Matters' released yesterday, the government outlines plans for tackling age discrimination based on a EU Employment Directive - prohibiting age discrimination in employment and vocational training.
Under the new plans employers will be banned from enforcing employees to retire before the age of 70.
Employers will also be prohibited to set compulsory retirement ages for workers unless employers can objectively justify them.
Trade and Industry Secretary and author of the report Patricia Hewitt calls age discrimination "the last bastion" of legal but unfair discrimination in the workplace and pushes for it to be outlawed.
"In particular we must challenge the ageist assumption that younger employees make the best workers. It is a sad fact that thousands of people in their 40's and 50's who have been made redundant never work again."
"It is vital that we widen the pool of workers so that employers can make the most of the full range of talent and skills available. Research suggests that age discrimination costs the UK £316bn a year.
"But this legislation is not about forcing people to work longer. It will provide more choice and flexibility for those who wish to stay in work in their 50s and 60s."
The government plans to have the new regulations in place by the end of 2004, but they will not be implemented until the end of 2006.
Consultation on the matter will run until 20 October 2003.
Examples of age discrimination in employment that will be outlawed by legislation in 2006 include:
Source: Department of Trade and Industry
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