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The government has recently announced its intention to bring in new legislation in 2006 with the intention of combating age discrimination in the workplace. Currently UK employees over the age of 65 are not protected from unfair dismissal or eligible for statutory redundancy payments. The government wants to make it easier for workers to carry on working beyond the age of 65. Mandatory retirement ages are fixed by employers, which state when employees are expected to retire.
The new legislation will obviously have a cost related impact on UK employers in terms of pension entitlements, health insurance costs, employer's liability insurance, redundancy pay and skill shortages. The idea behind the handbook is to clarify the new legislation, the subsequent requirements that employers will have to comply with an will provide good practice guidance so employers are prepared for the new law when it comes into force in 2006.