Tuesday, 31 May 2011

New London Employer Survey Reveals Lack of Preparation to Deal with Abolition of the Default Retirement Age

A new survey by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Penningtons Solicitors LLP reveals that London employers are ill-prepared to deal with the implications that the abolition of the default retirement age (DRA) may have on managing their workforce. Entitled Tackling the age-old problem of retirement, the findings show that 57 per cent are not prepared for and 26 per cent do not know about the biggest change to 2011 employment law.

The key findings of the survey are:

  • More than half (57 per cent) of respondents have not yet taken any action to deal effectively with the April and October 2011 changes to the retirement age, although more than four out of ten (43 per cent) respondents consider themselves to be either quite well or very well prepared.
  • More than a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents are not well informed about the abolition of the DRA.
  • More than three quarters (78 per cent) of respondents think that workers should be retained on their ability rather than their age.
  • More than two thirds (68 per cent) of respondents agree that the UK’s employment legal framework needs to be modernised. Although over a third (38 per cent) agree or strongly agree that keeping people at work longer will NOT solve the pensions’ crisis.
  • More than half (56 per cent) are concerned that older employees may refuse to retire even when they cannot perform their job effectively, and 54 per cent are concerned about the lack of clarity about how to legitimately retire employees.
  • More than four out of ten (44 per cent) of respondents are concerned that there will be more age-related and Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and that there will be fewer promotion opportunities for younger workers.
Third Age Employment Network

Friday, 27 May 2011

Brits 'facing poor retirement'

Britons are avoiding planning and saving for their retirement despite being fully aware of issues such as the UK's growing ageing population and less generous pension schemes, according to a report.

The report, by the HSBC, found just 39% of people have a financial plan in place for their future, despite many planning on going part-time in their 50s and giving up work at 62.

One in five said they do not know how they will fund their retirement, while 21% expected to be able to live off a state pension.

The report said that people seem to be avoiding the fact that people are living longer and that company pensions are likely to be less generous when they retire.

Around 49% of people expect to be worse off in their old age than their parents, with just 27% expecting to have a higher income.

A further 68% of people admit that they are worried that they are not financially prepared for when they stop work.

Even among those who do have a financial plan in place, only 26% have taken professional financial advice on what they should do.

David Wells, head of investments, pensions and savings at HSBC, said: 'The emergence of this ostrich generation is a real concern.

'Britons know that they need to plan and save more for their retirement, yet are not turning this knowledge into action.'

Monday, 23 May 2011

Over 50 And Out Of Work: 'My Wife Doesn't Love Me Anymore; My Kids Don't Love Me' (VIDEO)

Mike Risinger's 17-year career as a draftsman started falling apart in 2008. When the financial crisis hit, he spent a year working as a contractor, and then a few weeks working for a friend before a starting an endless stretch of unemployment. Now his wife is working two full-time jobs to pick up the slack.

"We see her very little, and usually when we do see her she's dead tired and doesn't want to do anything," Risinger says in a video posted online May 9. "It's miserable."

Risinger, who lives in Portland, Ore., says one of his two daughters wants to go to college next year. "I don't know how she's going to pay for it. The finger gets pointed at me," he says, his eyes weary. "I seem to have lost my edge. I can't get an interview anymore."

"My wife doesn't love me anymore," the 58-year-old says, smiling instead of crying. "My kids don't love me."

Risinger's video lives on Over 50 And Out Of Work, a site created by New York-based journalist Susan Sipprelle to document the jobs crisis among older workers. Sipprelle, 52, is looking out for people like herself.

"I could see the impact this is having on my peers," she says. "So many of our interviewees thought they were set for life."

The site has videos of jobless Americans from all over the country. Sipprelle and her team this week embarked on their final trip -- to Louisville, Ky. -- where they will film their 100th interview.

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Workers older than 55 are much less likely to lose their jobs, but once they do, they're much more likely to be unemployed for a long time. The average jobless spell for older workers now lasts longer than a year. The anxiety and despair among people stuck in this situation has been well-documented in studies, particularly by Carl Van Horn at Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. (Van Horn is one of several experts Sipprelle has interviewed for the project.)

But statistics and expert witnesses can't convey the poignancy that Sipprelle's jobless interview subjects can.

Elizabeth Zima, of Calistoga, Calif., for one, has been out of work since she lost her job as a health care writer in 2008 and has already blown through her retirement savings.

"I can't pay my taxes," says Zima, 57, suppressing sobs in a March 15 video. "I can't pay my taxes. I've always filed. I always have felt it's been my responsibility. I can't pay 'em. Even an extension -- I'm not gonna be able to pay 'em."

Sipprelle says two or three of the people she's profiled have since found work with pay comparable to what they'd earned before being laid off. A few others have taken jobs with much worse pay, while some have struck out as entrepreneurs. "We have a handful in really, really bad shape," she says.

To view video - click here.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Prague Poll: 5 out of 6 confirm age discrimination at work

Prague, May 2 (CTK) - Five out of six persons (85 percent) believe that a group of people is discriminated against at work in the Czech Republic, according to a STEM institute's poll released yesterday.

The portion of those who say some employees are discriminated against has been the highest since 2004 when this kind of poll was conducted for the first time by STEM. It is 9 percentage points more than in the previous poll held last November.
Only 1 percent of the respondents said deliberate discrimination certainly did not occur at work. Nearly one third of Czechs hold the opposite opinion, or that deliberate discrimination certainly occurred at work.

About 87 percent said they believe employees or entrepreneurs were deliberately discriminated against because of their age. Three-fourths said a worsened health condition was a reason for discrimination at work.

Other frequent reasons for discrimination were maternity or pregnancy (69 percent) and race (59 percent).

On the other hand, only 7 percent of the respondents said employees were discriminated against because of their faith or religion, and according to 14 percent this happened because of one's sexual orientation or political views.

Respondents had similar opinions on discrimination irrespective of their age, education or political views or whether they were employees or entrepreneurs. There are certain differences between the opinions of men and women and of people from different social groups.
The poll was conducted on 1286 people over 18 in early April.