Author: Age Cymru
Published on 03 October 2011 09:30 AM
Age Cymru has welcomed the scrapping of a law that allowed employers to sack their staff when they reached 65 years of age.
The Default Retirement Age, which was introduced in October 2006, was abolished on Saturday 1 October.
Age Cymru’s Director of Influencing and Programme Development Victoria Lloyd says:
“The end of the Default Retirement Age is a victory for older workers who for too long have been consigned to the scrapheap for no reason other than prejudice.
“While we have seen a slight improvement over the last five years, there is still a long way to go before older workers are treated as equals in the workplace.
The Default Retirement Age (DRA) was introduced in 2006 at the same time as regulations (Employment Equality (Age) Regulations) intended to stop age discrimination in the workplace.
But the impact of the regulations was undermined by the DRA which is finally being abolished after a long campaign by Age Cymru alongside its sister charity Age UK.
Victoria Lloyd adds:
“We hope that, by taking away the arbitrary ‘best before’ date for employers, attitudes towards older workers will quickly evolve to look at their skills and experience, not their date of birth.
“With an ageing population traditional rigid ideas about retirement are changing.
“Many people will want to work longer for personal or financial reasons and prejudice should not lock them out of the workplace.
“The UK and Welsh Governments must continue to work with employers and trade groups to highlight the benefits of hiring older workers.
“And that message must trickle down to line managers who are responsible for day to day recruitment and management."
Read our list of FAQs about the Default Retirement Age.