On the Default Retirement Age

January 13th, 2011 § 0 comments

Good news for the crumblies, then. The default retirement age (DRA) is to be scrapped.

This is A Good Thing, especially as the age at which the state pension can be claimed is going to be raised to 66, which could’ve left some people without an income for a year.

Some people aren’t happy about it though. Step forward the Institute of Directors.

The Directors reckon it will reduce flexibility for employers and want the plans clarified. As usual, ‘flexibility’ short hand for ‘ability to sack people’.

Why should this bother employers? The ability to sack people is there for employers already. There are procedures that have to be followed. Criteria filled. If someone ticks all the boxes then an employer has no comeback for sacking someone. Age, per se, should not come into it.

There is an arguement floating about that this change in the law is going to screw young people coming into the job market. Old, employed people equals young people with no jobs to get into.

First of all, why should someone move over, just give up or be forced to give up their job because someone else wants or needs it? A young person may need to get a job to get experience and skills and start moving up the corporate ladder (I seem to remember reading that the longer a ‘youth’ takes to get from education to employment the worse off they are with regards to their potential earnings, career progression and stuff like that). An older person has bills to pay, a pension to finish topping up, and other commitments. One persons need is no greater than anothers. No one has an automatic right to a job.

Secondly, the jobs that the older people would be leaving are not necessarily the same type that the young person would be taking. There would be something of a skills/knowledge gap.

There was also something in the news, and I can’t find it now about maybe increasing the period that an employer can dismiss a new employee for no reason from one year to two. Once again, all in the name of ‘flexibilty’.

Flexibility may be what the corporations want, and some would argue need, but what employees need is at least a bit of security. If an employer doesn’t know if someone is unsuitable for the position after a year then they probably shouldn’t be in a position offer employment in the first place.

It would be nice to have these directors think about the people they employ as people now and again, not just another resource they buy in like the stationary.

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