New age discrimination laws planned by the UK government will ban unjustified forced retirement for workers under the age of 65 and remove the age limit for unfair dismissal.
The measures, which will also ban age discrimination in terms of recruitment, promotion and training, are designed better to utilize an aging workforce. The government also wants employees to continue working beyond the retirement age of 65 if this is agreed with the employer. In five years’ time the retirement age may be abolished altogether.
Trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson said: As we are living longer and healthier lives, it is essential that the talents of older workers are not wasted. We must have the opportunity to carry on working where that is what we want. It’s all about choice – not work till you drop, but choose when you stop.
Legal experts have warned that the plans may lead to more employment tribunals. In the US, related court cases rose by 40% after similar legislation was introduced.