Government plans to scrap forced retirement

Though many of us would happily look forward to retirement at 65, a radical shake-up by Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman may mean that forced retirement is a thing of the past.

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Miss Harman is set to announce a fast-track Government review of the retirement age allowing older people the right to request flexible hours from their employer. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Miss Harman insisted that the retirement age should be scrapped so that Brits, though they would not be forced to work beyond 65, could stay in employment into their 70s or even 80s.

But business leaders are already concerned that companies could be faced with "bed-blocking" older workers refusing to make way for new employees and Miss Harman's proposals for flexible working rights are also cause for concern.

However, the state pension could still be claimed at the current age of retirement. And with many already struggling to cope on the pension provided by the Government, pension-aged workers have been on the rise over the last year.

Miss Harman told the paper: "We do want people, if they want to, to be able to stay working for longer and flexible working is a way that enables them to do that. They could say they have decided they want to work three days a week and it would then be down to the employer to demonstrate why the business couldn't cope with that."

What it will mean, though, for school leavers and graduates already struggling to find employment is another matter. And besides, is this a case of being allowed to work or having to work in order to survive?

Let us know what you think. Should employees have a legal right to work into their 70s and 80s?