David Prosser: Good riddance to age discrimination
Friday 30 July 2010
Outlook Changes to employment regulation rarely work out as badly as businesses fear. In the run up to the introduction of the minimum wage in 1997, employers were queuing up to warn that higher unemployment would be the inevitable result. It did not turn out that way. Similarly, many of the worst fears of businesses about the abolition of the default retirement age are likely to prove unfounded.
Moreover, this is a change in the law that is long overdue. With the exception of a few special cases, in this time of longer life expectancies, pension shortfalls and more flexible labour practices, it just makes no sense to allow employers to force their staff to quit on a certain date.
Having said that, the Government does appear to be acting with indecent haste. The new rules will effectively come into force from April next year, but employers have not yet been given the detail of how the system will operate – specifically, the process they will have to go through in order to ask older workers to leave if they can show they're no longer capable of fulfilling their duties.
Still, the reaction of groups such as the British Chambers of Commerce and the Institute of Directors is bordering on the hysterical. Do these groups think that once the default retirement age is gone, vast armies of infirm pensioners will insist on keeping jobs they are not up to doing? It hardly seems likely.
In fact, all this change actually means is that employers will no longer have legal backing when they want to get rid of someone purely because of their age. And many will thank their lucky stars when the result turns out to be that their workforce becomes older and wiser.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...