By Claire West

Commenting on the Government’s proposal to abolish the Default Retirement Age (DRA), Graeme Leach, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said: "We greatly regret the Government’s decision to abolish the DRA. We do not see how the removal of a mechanism that gives employers flexibility in managing their workforce is compatible with the Government’s stated desire to boost enterprise and de-regulate the employment arena".

"Instead of removing one of the few flexible mechanisms left to employers, the Government should be examining how it can make it easier for businesses to employ people so that jobs lost in the public sector can be replaced with jobs in the private sector".

"The Coalition agreement states that a ‘one-in, one-out’ rule will be introduced whereby no new regulation is brought in without other regulation being cut by a greater amount. So where are the announcements outlining the regulations to be cut? If the Government wants to be seen as a pro-enterprise administration it needs to address this point and explain what regulations are to be removed".

Conversely, Dianah Worman, diversity adviser, CIPD, said:

”We are greatly encouraged by the new plans laid out to eradicate the DRA. Our research has shown that many employees wish to work past retirement for differing reasons and many employers are already benefiting from allowing such flexibility".

"With the allowed transition period of 6 months and adequate support, employers will be able to continue to benefit from retaining the knowledge, skills and experience of older workers".

“The abolition of the DRA will help to encourage better management, which should bring a productivity boost for many employers. While we understand the transitional change issues surrounding the removal of the DRA for employers, we feel that a compulsory retirement age risks undermining this great stride forward. We would encourage all employers to look at the potential cost saving benefits of continued good practice and management of their older workforce.”

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