Retirement age to be scrapped for senior civil servants

The Civil Service will scrap its mandatory retirement age for all employees from April 2010.

Last year Cabinet Office chief Gus O’Donnell pledged to remove the retirement age for all staff below the most senior levels. Now he has promised to remove it for everyone in the Senior Civil Service as well.

O’Donnell said the move would lead to government departments benefiting from older workers’ continuing experience and skills. The announcement was timed to coincide with National Older People’s Day.

Last week the High Court ruled that the UK’s default retirement age of 65 was lawful, but there was now a compelling case for it to be scrapped. The government is already committed to reviewing its policy on the default retirement age early next year with experts predicting it will be ditched altogether.

“We should not put an artificial and unnecessary cap on the contribution of long serving, dedicated staff – at any grade,” O’Donnell said. “I am delighted that we will be freeing up the potential of our older, senior civil servants to continue to serve.

“Today’s move also shows the Civil Service is committed to using the knowledge and experience of its increasingly diverse workforce to improve the delivery of public services for everyone.”

Personnel Today has been supporting a campaign to force the government to scrap the default retirement age.

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