October 5 marks the final day that employers can compel workers to retire under such rules, following the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) last year. Age UK said the end of the DRA marks a "major milestone in the fight against age discrimination". Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK, said: "We hope that now it is illegal to force someone out of their job simply because they are 65 or over, it will make employers look beyond their staff's date of birth, objectively assess their skills and contributions and trigger a more positive and realistic attitude to older people."
April 2011, employers had to give workers between six and 12 months
notice of intention to force them to retire, with a further six months
possible extension, if they were forcing them to retire under the rules. Ros
Altmann, director-general of over-50s group Saga, which had campaigned
for the law change, said: "We have already seen a huge increase in older
workers. "The fact is that people are simply not 'old' or 'past
it' any more in their 60s and, after all the tremendous advances in
healthcare and labour practices, there is no reason why those who want
to keep working should be forced out just on the grounds of their age. "Such ageist attitudes and discriminatory practices have no place in a modern labour market." She said it is a credit to the Government that one of its first actions when taking office was to announce an end to the DRA. Dr
Altmann continued: "The move was long overdue and hopefully the
workplace is now much more welcoming to older workers. This change does
not mean anyone has to be forced to work longer. But it does mean that
employers cannot force people to stop, if they are perfectly good at
their jobs and willing and able to work."
Source: Press Association