Being the fun-loving solicitors that we are, we have spent a little bit of time having a look at the government's report on opinions it received for and against the Default Retirement Age ("DRA") as part of its initial consultation about whether to scrap it. It was actually quite an interesting exercise (yes, really!) since it flagged up some issues that you may want to start thinking about now such as…
- Without the DRA you may have to start managing older employees out of the workforce for less comfortable reasons, such as poor performance. Will this mean that performance management is tightened for all employees?
- Do you have any reliable evidence that an employee's performance deteriorates as they get older?
- Employees in the run up to retirement may have been overlooked for promotion and training in the past. Has this been an issue with your workforce and how will this be addressed in the future to stop age discrimination claims?
- Will there be a shift in attitudes and workplace culture in respect of employees in their 40s and 50s? How will businesses go about planning their workforces?
- Will we see a greater degree of movement of employees in the latter stages of their employment and will businesses be able to take advantage of that?
- What about flexible retirement, e.g. an employee working reduced hours post-65. How are such issues to be raised, discussed?
Hopefully some interesting points to ponder. These issues of course tie into the government's consultation as summarised in the article above. We would be interested to hear your thoughts on what the employment landscape will look like after October 2011 so please do feel free to drop us a line.