Government focuses on older people at work

    Tackling workplace discrimination against older employees and
    helping older people return to work are priorities in government
    strategy for people aged over 50, the new pensions minister Ian
    McCartney said last week.

    He told the Employers Forum on Age that too many employers still
    make judgements on age, not ability to do the job.

    “Employers should lead the way in showing they value the skills
    and experience older people bring to the work place,” he said,
    adding that the government was reviewing its approach to older
    workers, and would introduce legislation by 2006 to tackle
    workplace age discrimination.

    He also said the government would find ways to ensure older
    people could draw on their occupational pension while continuing to
    work part time.

    Mervyn Kohler, head of public affairs at charity Help the Aged,
    broadly welcomed the plans, but said he was disappointed
    legislation would not be introduced sooner.

    “There is a huge amount to be done, and we have to move to a
    legislative framework to do it,” he said.

    McCartney replaced Jeff Rooker as minister for pensions
    following the general election. He will be based at the new
    Department for Work and Pensions.

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