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Don’t discard elderly workers like old socks, says think tank

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Father Time’s image should remind companies and government to wise up on the realities facing older workers, according to a leading age and employment think tank in a New Year message.

The Age and Employment Network (TAEN) said that if Father Time were alive now, he would be looking younger, living longer, keeping active by going to the gym and most likely wanting to work to keep his income coming in.

TAEN is urging government and employers in their new year resolutions, to make and open up more jobs for older people. The think tank wants the government to abolish the legal discrimination against people beyond 65, who they say are routinely put out to grass, when they want and need to work.

TAEN’s point is that people over 65 are often suffering because the Age Discrimination Regulations actually deny them the possibility of working, even though they need jobs, and the government says it is keen for them to go on working.

Chris Ball, chief executive of TAEN said: “Father Time is reckoned to go on forever, but the UK’s workers are deemed to have sell-by dates far younger than their years.

“Medical science tells us that work is good for longer living, good for health, good for the mind. Today’s older worker is frequently fit, alert and perfectly capable of holding down a job for years to come. It is crazy to waste talent and skills in this way. Older people can offer so much to our economy. Discarding them like old socks makes no sense at all.”

TAEN believes that the economy is damaged when organisations make older workers ‘hang up their boots’ before they need to without younger talent to replace them. The government has already decided the country needs workers to work to 68 to pay for their longer life expectancy and pensions.

Ball continued: “Being more flexible in the kinds of jobs older workers do, helping them maintain their skills and remain healthy, are what older workers need, to continue working and earning.”

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Annie Hayes

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