Calls for over-65s to keep working

| January 25, 2010
Calls for over-65s to keep working

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is supporting plans to let the over 65s continue working.

Earlier this month, minister for Women and Equality, Harriet Harman, announced 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.

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

Meanwhile, the Commission is calling on ministers to scrap the retirement age, saying it is out of date and discriminates against people who want to carry on working.

Currently, an employer has the legal right to terminate the employment of a 65-year-old.

In a study of 1,500 over-50s, the Commission found that almost two-thirds of women and 59% of men said they wanted to continue working beyond retirement.

Baroness Margaret Prosser, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Radical change is what older Britons are telling us needs to happen for them to stay in the workforce.

“Keeping older Britons healthy and in the workforce also benefits the economy more broadly by decreasing welfare costs and increasing the spending,” she added.

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