MORE than half of businesses in the North West want the right to retire staff automatically reinstated, according to a survey.
The Government abolished this right 18 months ago but a survey of 100 North West firms, carried out by law practice Irwin Mitchell, reveals 54% fear the new policy means they are at greater risk of losing younger, talented staff.
More than a third said that a default retirement age (DRA) provided a balanced workforce and clearer opportunities for promotion of younger staff.
Although the DRA was removed and employment can no longer be terminated on the grounds of age alone, employers still have the option to introduce their own retirement age if they are able to legally justify it.
Ed Cotton, employment partner at Irwin Mitchell’s North West operation, said: “It is clear that the use of a DRA before the law changed was widespread and that many welcomed the impact it had on the balance of the workforce and promotion opportunities.
“It was also interesting to note that 81.5% of those firms in the region which removed their DRA, did so not because it was right for their business and employees, but solely because of the law change.
“This again reflects that given the choice most companies would rather have it, but more significantly it shows firms not willing to take what they perceive as a risk and attempt to legally justify a retirement age.”