Reshaping retirement

March 23, 2007

Age Concern is quite right that the situation regarding mandatory retirement and age discrimination is unacceptable ("Age Concern takes OU to task", March 16). And it is absurd for any organisation to argue that it "has to be able to maintain a turnover rate in staff to ensure that it remains dynamic" or that "without a retirement date, turnover would quickly decline". This is the kind of ageist thinking that the new regulations on age discrimination should be designed to challenge.

But the fact that the Open University has hosted the Research on Age Discrimination project is not evidence of hypocrisy. Rather there is within the OU a vigorous debate, and the alternative view being expressed by the project team and many staff members is that mandatory retirement is discriminatory and should be abolished forthwith.

Bill Bytheway
Director, Research on Age Discrimination

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