The UK employers’ organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has described the UK government’s decision on retirement ages as “sensible and pragmatic.”
Government will allow employers to set a retirement age at 65, while giving employees “a right to request” that they continue beyond this point. Firms will have to give business reasons to justify refusing a request, helping to stamp out unfair age discrimination.
“This is a sensible and pragmatic decision,” says John Cridland, CBI Deputy Director-General. “It means people can ask to work beyond 65 and they will be able to do so unless there is a good business reason why not. This will be a big change from the status quo because contractual retirement ages below 65 will now have to go. But it also means there is a clear cut-off point to employment, which is important if you don’t want to embitter the retirement process and trigger an explosion of tribunal claims. Neither employers or employees want people to work forever. The UK is not going out on a limb by implementing the EU directive in this way. France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have come to a similar view. They have outlawed discrimination but maintained a cut-off point to employment. We accept that people are living longer and are likely to work longer in decades to come. The government is right to keep this issue under review for the longer term.”