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It’s said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But, like much else that’s said about ageing, that simply isn’t true and now the Government have recognised this.
There are many myths about old age that have been dispelled as a result of Government research. There appears to be no medical, scientific or safety justification not to employ those over 60. Employers had better watch out because there is new age discrimination legislation that, subject to Government approval, will storm into force on October 1st this year.
Evidence from companies that have taken on greater numbers of older people, such as Marks and Spencer, B & Q, Asda, Nationwide Building Society, Lloyds TSB and HSBC, shows that their sales figures have gone up while staff turnover rates have fallen. Amazingly, B & Q employed a 92-year-old who worked in the DIY chain’s Wimbledon store! The point to emphasise is that we must avoid stereotyping and see people for who they are and what they can do and contribute.
The current draft regulations for introduction in October are
Once the regulations are introduced, older workers will have the same employment rights as other workers. At present grievances made by those employing older employees can be conveniently ‘overlooked’. Furthermore, those currently working over retirement age cannot bring claims in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages and discrimination to name but a few. The introduction of the Regulations will mean that these claims can be made.
So, the message to all of you more mature readers is this – if you want to stay in employment past retirement or return to the workplace, go for it. If you encounter any problems along the way, we can be there to help you.