Elderly man fired by Age Concern

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The Independent Online
A 65-YEAR-OLD man is suing Age Concern, the charity for elderly people, because he claims it forced him out of his job for being too old.

Bernard Oliver, from Blackley in Manchester, had worked as a driver for the charity full-time for over four years when his employers cut his hours to two and half days a week.

He alleges that officials thought he should be putting his feet up and relaxing because of his age.

Mr Oliver had managed a shop and worked as a driver for the charity, taking home pounds 540 a month. He resigned when he was ordered to share his job with a volunteer, and now plans to take the organisation to an industrial tribunal claiming constructive dismissal.

"I am not too old and I certainly don't feel it and I am not ready for retiring. It all boils down to discrimination, age discrimination," said Mr Oliver.

"I'm fit and healthy and there is no reason why I can't carry on doing the job that I have loved for four years."

Mr Oliver, who spent 10 years working as a carer at a psychiatric hospital before moving to Age Concern, said: "I felt terrible when they sat me down and said I was too old to do the driving job because I was over 65. They said I could still do voluntary work for them but it felt like an insult after the years I had spent working for them.

"Now I'm left with my P60 after all the years I devoted to them, and have just my pension to live on."

Margaret Burford, assistant director for Age Concern said: "Retirement for employees has to be taken at 65 but people can stay on with the approval of charity's trustees. Mr Oliver resigned after being offered the two- and-a-half days a week work option. It was, however, the only post available to him."