Working on Past 'Retirement' Age; the Government Has Scrapped the Fixed Retirement Age, Meaning Employers Can No Longer Dismiss Staff Because They Have Reach 65. ANDY PASSANT Reports

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Byline: ANDY PASSANT

FANCY the chance to work into your 70s or 80s? Now's your chance after the Government scrapped the fixed retirement age.

The face of the UK's workforce is set to change following the axing of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) from October 1. Employers are no longer allowed to dismiss staff because they have reached the age of 65.

It means that workers won't be forced to retire because of their age and can continue to work beyond that age if they choose.

Companies will now have to review their recruitment policies to ensure they continue to stay within the law.

The move has been welcomed by groups representing older workers.

Age equality campaigners have long campaigned for it to be scrapped, arguing that it was blatant age discrimination.

Les Fawcett, chairman of Middlesbrough Senior Citizens'' Forum, said a lot of older people were happy to continue working longer - health permitting.

Retired ICI worker Les, 72, of Middlesbrough, said: "If a person wants to work until the age of 70 or 80 he or she should be allowed to do it.

"As long as they are fit enough, there are loads of people out there who want to do it.

"There are a lot of skills out there among older people. They can pass on their skills to younger people."

Many people understandably look forward to the day they retire after a lifetime of work.

But Les said there were also a number of reasons why people might consider working beyond 65 - even if it is just a part-time job involved.

Les, who though retired still keeps busy doing voluntary work, said: "Some people just feel they need that little bit extra.

"It gets them out of the house. They can make new friends.

"They feel like they are still wanted and that's the main thing. It encourages them to get up, go out and do something. It keeps you fit and active."

Age UK has been one of the charities campaigning for the removal of the Default Retirement Age. …