TUC accuses government of missed opportunity on age discrimination

The TUC has criticised the government for not going far enough with the new draft regulations on age discrimination.

The proposals, announced by trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson on Thursday, ban all retirement ages below 65, except where objectively justified, and remove the current upper age limit for unfair dismissal and redundancy rights.

They will also introduce a duty for employers to consider an employee’s request to continue working beyond retirement.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘These regulations are clearly an advance for older workers, but they could have gone much further by ending arbitrary age-based retirement.

“We are also concerned that the right to request to work beyond employer-set retirement ages is too weakly drawn, and will monitor its implementation carefully.”

Barber said the “extremely cautious” response to the European Directive was a missed opportunity to really extend choice by giving people far more control over not just when they finally give up work, but also to establish new routes to retirement.

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