New Government proposals to see flexible hours for over 65s

| January 11, 2010 | 0 Comments
New Government proposals to see flexible hours for over 65s

Minister for Women and Equality, Harriet Harman, is calling for a major shake-up in the retirement law which will see workers no longer forced to retire at 65.

Miss Harman believes a radical change in the law is needed in order to smash the notion that people are ‘past it’ once they hit 65.

The proposals will mean workers could stay on into their 70s or even their 80s if they choose to and will also be given the right to request flexible hours from their employer, as are parents with young children.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Miss Harman, said: “The retirement age is arbitrary, it bears no relation to people’s ability. Think of people running their own business - they don’t shut up shop suddenly when they reach the age of 65.

“People are remaining active and healthy well into their older years. But at the moment there is no legal backing for you if you want to stay at work, so what we are proposing is a massive public policy change,” she adds.

However, the proposals will not be welcomed by some business leaders who are insisting that companies need some sort of ‘cut-off point’ when older workers must retire.

The Nationwide Building Society allows employees to work until the age of 75 and Miss Harman is calling for more companies to follow suit.

The recession, and a rise in the cost of living, has meant that many people who reach retirement age are forced to continue working as they cannot live off the state pension.

Keith Frost of the Age and Employment Network, comments: “It should be about what they [workers] contribute, not about the fact that they’ve just had a significant birthday”.

Latest figures show a record 1.4 million employees have reached the state pension age of 60 for women and 65 for men.

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