FF proposes scrapping compulsory retirement age

Seanad to debate FF Bill banning age discrimination in the workplace

Fianna Fáil has published a Bill banning discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of age. The Bill, to be debated in the Seanad this week, scraps the compulsory retirement age of 65.

The proposals are contained in a Fianna Fáil strategy on promoting the rights of older citizens, published by the party’s Seanad Spokesperson on Enterprise Senator Mary White earlier this year.

Senator White explained, “The current Employment Equality Act bans workplace discrimination on the basis of gender, race or sexual orientation. I am proposing that the Act be amended to include a ban on discrimination solely on the basis of age. This would mean that employees who have the physical and mental capacity to remain in the workplace after the age of 65 would not be forced to retire.”

Senators will tonight debate the Bill to scrap the compulsory retirement at 65. Senator White says this age limit is outdated.

“There are many people in their 60s and 70s who are in the fullness of their health and have a lot more to offer in their workplace. It makes no sense to force them over the cliff edge of compulsory retirement, when their maturity, experience and expertise remain highly valuable to their employers,” the Dublin Senator said.

“People over 65 should be allowed to continue working if they want to. The latest Eurobarameter shows that 46% Irish people want the option to continue working after the age of 65. This is not about enabling people who no longer have the capacity to carry out their work to remain in their jobs, nor is it about forcing people to work beyond the age of 65. It is about providing options to employees and to managers who have much to gain from greater flexibility in this area.

“Forcing people to retire at 65 can affect their self-esteem and has an impact on the overall status of older people in Irish society. Such an outdated age limit forces an unnecessary ‘brain drain’ of experience, expertise and maturity from our public and private organisations.

“I am urging all Senators to support this constructive piece of legislation that I believe will be a significant step in ensuring full equality in the workplace for all citizens.”

Senator Mary White

Fianna Fáll spokeperson on Jobs Enterprise and Innovation.

An Advocate for a new Approach to Childcare, Ageing & Ageism and sucide Prevention

Tel: +353 1 618 3820
Fax: +353 1 618 4046
Mobile: +353 86 256 0533
Email: mwhite@oireachtas.ie

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