The printing employers’ organisation BPIF and union Amicus have recommended that industry firms adopt the default retirement age of 65 set by new age discrimination laws that take effect from 1 October.
The recommendation was agreed at the first meeting of the Joint Partnership Committee, established by the two organisations under an agreement for the commercial printing industry, which took effect at the end of last year.
Applying the default retirement age of 65 means that companies can lawfully retire employees at age 65.
Employees will have the right to request to continue working beyond their retirement date, and although employers are under no obligation to accede to these, they will be required to give them full consideration.
The BPIF and Amicus have stressed the importance for companies and unions to discuss succession and manpower planning.
Tony Burke, Amicus assistant general secretary, said: “We are looking to work with companies to ensure that the legislation is implemented as smoothly as possible within the industry. The key issue is that companies and Amicus union reps should meet to ensure there is proper succession planning.
“It’s no use employers leaving things to the last minute and then requesting that highly skilled staff work on beyond 65. Equally, it is important for employers to look at the longer term – by taking on apprentices and trainees to replace staff due to retire.”
Amicus is holding briefing sessions for its full-time officials across the whole of its sectors. The scope for providing some joint training for managers and employee representatives in this area will also be explored.