Default Retirement Age
Although the default retirement age was abolished in 2011, the ripples that followed its phasing out are felt in the workforce today. Many employers are still grappling with the implications of being uncertain as to when their older employees decide to retire and how the employers should plan for succession.
According to the Equality Act 2010, employers cannot dismiss an employee due to age. At the same time, business owners need to think about the future of their business and consider training younger employees to protect the company.
Age vs competency
What older employees lack in vitality, they often make up for in skill and expertise, accuracy, reliability, the ability to train and guide less experienced workers and life experience that offers the company an edge.
How employers can manage an ageing workforce
It is beneficial to many businesses to have skilled older workers who bring a lot of value to the company. But what if the older employee is no longer productive or has issues that keep them from coping with their duties? Since the employer cannot for their retirement, there are other ways to manage an ageing employee.
A good employee getting on in years but who still has a lot to offer could benefit from a rebalanced workload. The employer could offer flexible hours or less strenuous work to help keep older employees productive while benefiting from their experience and abilities.
Performance is the main factor in determining an employee’s ability to stay on the job. While it might not be easy in every business to monitor individual employees, it is still the best option. Provided they use fair assessment techniques that apply to all staff, if the company determines that an employee is underperforming, this can be used as grounds for dismissal.
While this is not limited to older employees, an employer can use objective justification to dismiss any employee. If the employee cannot perform their job because of health issues or age-related ailments, it is only fair that they should retire.
Whether employers admit it or not, skill and experience make a business more productive. Many older workers are in no position to retire and, despite their expertise, won’t be able to get another job due to a rarely acknowledged age discrimination problem in the recruitment process. All the more reason to keep them on the company payroll.