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As an older worker over 65, what should I consider?

May 26, 2015

Many more people are finding that they either want or need to keep working over the age of 65. The government removed the ability for businesses to compulsorily retire their staff at 65, and almost 50 per cent of workers aged 55 and over are planning to keep working up to and beyond their state pension age, according to the CIPD.

So what do older workers need to consider and how do businesses effectively accommodate them?

The first consideration for both the older worker and their employer is the idea of reducing their hours. There are many different ways of achieving this and some of the more common ways are by flexible working or going part time. This phased retirement may be particularly important where a worker is also a carer. If a request for flexible working is submitted it must be considered and cannot be refused unless there is a good business reason.

Allowing older workers to access the same opportunities as the younger people in the work force are important, in fact this is enshrined in law. As an employer, you must be mindful of the Equality Act that states that you cannot discriminate against someone as a result of their age and not giving older workers the same opportunities may amount to discrimination.

Older workers and their employers need to have frank discussions about when the right time is to retire. This can be achieved with questioning and does not need to be a sensitive discussion. However, where there are performance issues with an older worker, these have to be approached in exactly the same way as any other worker, even if they are related to the age of that person.

Older people in the workplace are set to increase significantly, with a shortage of school aged people so it is important to start to address some of these concerns now.

If you would like more information or wish to discuss older workers rights, please contact Julian Cole on 01264 325805 or by email: employment@bsandi.co.uk.  Julian will be happy to assist you.


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