FSB News Release
PR 2010 01
Issue date: Monday 11 January 2010
FSB calls for default retirement age to be scrapped
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) supports the Government's proposal to bring forward the review on the default retirement age and is calling on the Government to scrap the default retirement age.
New research by the FSB shows that 60 per cent of small businesses do not think the Government should set a default retirement age.
However, the FSB is urging for a provision in the law to protect employers that need to retire staff because of ill health, threatening their levels of performance.
John Wright, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said:
"Many small business owners have no intention of putting in place a blanket policy to retire their staff at 65 – they understand the valuable contribution and skills that older workers bring to the business. In a recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses, 60 per cent of respondents employ staff over 50 years old and a quarter employ staff who are over 65, showing that small firms are flexible employers.
"Nearly 80 per cent of small firms responding to our survey said they do not use the default retirement age for their staff and 76 per cent believe that retirement should be based on a mutual decision between the employee and employer.
"Two thirds said they did not think the Government should set a default retirement age and 90 per cent of small businesses would consider an employee going into part time or flexible working, rather than retiring.
"However, businesses need to be able to make decisions about their workforce without the threat of expensive tribunals from employees who are unable to work because of age-related issues. The ability to let someone go because of ill-health should be made sacrosanct for those employers."
Notes to Editors
1. The FSB is the UK's leading business organisation with over 215,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the self-employed, and all those who run their own business. More information is available at http://www.fsb.org.uk.
2. The FSB surveyed its members of the default retirement age between December 18 2009 and January 4 2010 and had over 100 responses of a 400 strong employment panel.
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