Employers group backs decision to scrap forced retirement of junior civil servants

The Employers Forum on Age has welcomed the decision to scrap the retirement age for junior ranks of the Civil Service, announced by the Cabinet Office last week.

Whitehall departments and the Council of Civil Service Unions have agreed that employment policy on a mandatory retirement age – currently 65 – should change in the next two years.

Employers Forum on Age director Catharine Pusey said she hoped the decision would help focus the government’s mind ahead of the result of the Heyday challenge.

She added: “We firmly believe that it is inevitable that employers will eventually have to follow suit and the default retirement age will be removed altogether.”

A snapshot survey of 50 of the UK’s top companies by law firm BLP, conducted on the second anniversary of he implementation of the age discrimination regulations found that half had received requests from staff to continue working beyond age 65.

Rebecca Harding-Hill, a partner in BLP’s employment group, said: “The concerns that were raised about having a statutory retirement age of 65 seem to be unfounded. Employers across the board appear happy to contemplate employees working beyond retirement.

“Our survey highlights that, while having a retirement age is useful for employers, it is not an impediment to the continued employment of older workers.”

Personnel Today is supporting a campaign by the EFA to force the government to commit to remove the default retirement age in 2011, rather than merely reviewing it. Register your support for the campaign by signing our petition on the Number 10 website.

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