Half of employers in favour of keeping current default retirement age

Half of employers believe the default retirement age should be kept at its current level of 65 years, according to research conducted by law firm DLA Piper.

However, nearly one in three (30%) of the 545 UK business leaders working for organisations with a turnover of above £1 million that responded to DLA Piper’s General Election Survey 2010 were in favour of the next government scrapping the default retirement age entirely. 

A further 13% wanted to see it increased and 5% wanted to see it reduced.

In addition, more than four fifths (81%) of businesses said they oppose positive action to prioritise job candidates from minority groups for employment or promotion. Only 13% were in favour of the measure outlined in the Equality Bill, which received Royal Assent at the beginning of April.

Meanwhile, 86% of respondents said the government should not pass legislation to increase the number of women on the boards of UK companies, while 77% opposed any change in the law that would allow organisations to introduce quotas for female managers.

Jonathan Exten-Wright, employment partner at DLA Piper London, said: “Any incoming government will be faced with the dilemma of campaigners arguing best practice has not gone far enough and business resisting what it sees as unworkable red tape.”

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