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Default Retirement Age ‘spiralling out of control’

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Employers are using the government’s Default Retirement Age (DRA) as an alternative to redundancy during the recession, a survey by charities for the elderly has warned.

According to Age Concern and Help the Aged, more than 100,000 employees have been forced to leave the workplace through over zealous use of the DRA in the past year.

“Our survey clearly shows the use of forced retirement has spiralled out of control, offering some employers a low-cost shortcut to shed jobs during the recession,” Michelle Mitchell, Director of Age UK told the Guardian this week.

“The DRA has stamped an expiry date on hundreds of thousands of older workers. It’s the most disturbing example of age discrimination which still tarnishes later life for so many people.”

First implemented in 2006, the DRA means that employers can force retirement on staff that
reach 65. It is thought that 530,000 workers aged 60 and over work for companies which embrace the DRA, while 250,000 aged 60 to 64 feel it is likely they will be forced to retire.

But the recession’s grip on family and company finances has questioned the validity of the DRA. As employees are healthier and able to work for longer, limiting their employment chances based purely on age seems discriminatory in a democratic society.

The government has recently finished a review into the effectiveness of the DRA and the idea is expected to be scrapped after the next election.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

March 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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