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Employers oppose default retirement age of 65 which has been ruled unlawful

Employers oppose default retirement age of 65 which has been ruled unlawful
Employers oppose default retirement age

As
employers await the outcome of the Heyday case on 25 September, which could see
the default retirement age of 65 ruled unlawful.

New
research from international law firm Eversheds shows that the vast majority of
employers (73%) want to keep it in place. The findings revealed a concern among
employers that workforce planning would be hamstrung without the clarity that
the law currently provides. However, they also showed a willingness among organisations
to allow people to continue to work beyond the age of 65.

The
research conducted among 250 senior managers and HR professionals, revealed
that almost a quarter of employers (24%) usually accept requests to work beyond
normal retirement age, while 68% consider requests on an individual basis. Only
a small proportion of employers (8%) said they usually decline requests to work
beyond 65.

Earlier
in summer, the Department for Work and Pensions announced that it was bringing
forward its review of the retirement age by twelve months to 2010. In the
meantime, employers are expecting the outcome of the Heyday case to be
published later this month, which, depending on the outcome, could pre-empt the
DWP’s review.

The
findings show that workforce planning is the main reason for organisations to
retain a default retirement age, but issues of health and safety and capability
were also raised. Just under a third 31 percent said they are concerned about
the capacity of some older workers to continue to perform well beyond the age
of 65.

While
the majority of employers said they hoped that the default retirement age would
be retained following the DWP review in 2010, a small number of respondents
eight percent said that raising the default retirement age would be better than
abolishing it altogether, allowing for at least some flexibility to enable
workforce planning.

Human Resources news brought to you by theHRDIRECTOR – the only independent strategic HR publication.

29 September 2009

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