Council aims to extend staff retirement ages

Staff employed by East Lothian Council may be allowed to work until they are
75 under proposals being considered to help ease a recruitment crisis for some
posts.

The council has particular problems filling cleaning posts and it is looking
to extend the rules that only allow school crossing attendants to work beyond
the usual retirement age of 65.

Michaela Leitch, senior personnel officer with the council, said about a quarter
of the council staff are 60 or older and many are willing to work beyond 65 if
required.

"This is at the discussion stage, but it is an issue that needs action.
We have an ageing workforce and a shortage of staff to fill outstanding posts
so one solution could be to extend the age of retirement. I don’t believe this
is a problem unique to us but applies across the public sector.

Keith Handley, outgoing president of local government employers group Socpo,
welcomed East Lothian’s plans to extend the retirement age.

He said: "This is going to be a big issue in future and the Government
is currently consulting about removing the fixed retirement age.

"The UK population is growing older and is healthier so it seems
entirely logical that if organisations and their workforces want to work longer
they should be allowed to do so.

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