Mandatory retirement age to be scrapped across Whitehall from 2010

The retirement age for junior ranks of the Civil Service is set to be scrapped, the Cabinet Office has announced.

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

Since age discrimination laws were introduced in 2006 a number of departments, employing about 50% of the Civil Service workforce, have already dispensed with the mandatory retirement age. These include the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Cabinet Office said it was also reviewing the situation for senior civil servants.

The announcement was timed to coincide with National Older People’s Day.

Cabinet secretary Gus O’Donnell said he was proud that the Civil Service valued staff regardless of their age.

“The new commitment by all departments to a no-mandatory-retirement-age policy across the Civil Service by 2010 [apart from senior civil servants], is an important change to our workforce policy,” he said. “It is a practical demonstration of our commitment to providing greater flexibility for our people.”

Personnel Today is supporting a campaign by the Employers Forum on Age to force the government to commit to remove the default retirement age (DRA) in 2011, rather than merely reviewing it.

You can register your support for our Ditch the DRA campaign by signing our petition on the Number 10 website.

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