CBI warns directive may abolish retirement age

The
CBI has warned that an EU directive, which could abolish the retirement age in
the UK, could prevent employers from pursuing effective HR strategies on
workforce planning and succession management.

The
employers body made its comments as part of its submissions on the EU
employment and race directives, which include plans to bring in age
discrimination legislation in the UK by 2006.

The
Department of Trade and Industry has suggested that the directive could mean
the end of the mandatory retirement age.

"Whatever
measures are adopted businesses feel that the ability to retire employees at a
fixed date should be preserved, particularly as there appears to be no demand
for its removal from employers," said Katja Klasson, the CBI’s head of
employee relations. "In practice, retirement in the UK is already fairly
fluid with highly-valued employees being encouraged to stay on beyond normal
retirement age and many employees choosing to leave early if their pension
allows for it."

The
CBI believes that removing retirement ages could produce bottlenecks in the
promotion process and lead to higher turnover.

"Removing
retirement ages altogether means that employers will have no ability to plan
their manpower," commented Klasson.

By Ben Willmott

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