Monday, October 24, 2005
Age discrimination remains widespread among employers, raising doubts over their ability to cope with European Union rules due to be introduced next year, according to a study published today. A survey of more than 2,500 managers and personnel professionals reported that 59 per cent of respondents claimed to "have been personally disadvantaged at work because of their age" while 22 per cent of managers admitted that age considerations had made "an impact on their own recruitment decisions". The study by the Chartered Management Institute and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that many workers, who will be expected to work longer to top up their pensions and fill skill shortages, had unrealistic retirement expectations. The report said: "While 69 per cent anticipate that the age of retirement for the average person in 10 years' time will be 66 or older, 80 per cent expect they will retire by the age of 65." Employers' organisations have warned that age discrimination laws proposed by the government to comply with EU directives are unnecessarily complex and could prompt a deluge of employment tribunal cases. They are particularly concerned about plans to set a default retirement age of 65. If employees ask to work longer, employers will be required to prove they have considered this request but would not have to give reasons for refusing.