11/11/2005

TUC warn on older workers’ redundancy pay

Older workers could face reduced redundancy payments, when new age discrimination regulations come into force next year, the Trades Union Congress has warned.

Employees aged over 41 who lose their jobs currently receive higher statutory redundancy payments than younger workers with the same length of service.

The TUC has expressed concerns that the government may reduce awards to the levels currently paid to younger workers.

Currently workers over the age of 41 receive one and a half week’s pay for each year of employment if they are made redundant. However, employee’s aged between 22 and 40 receive a week’s pay per year of employment and those aged between 18 and 21 receive half a week’s pay.

However, this will not be possible, due to new age discrimination regulations, due to come into force in October 2006.

The TUC said that the fairest solution would be to increase the redundancy pay levels of younger workers to match the rate for older employees.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “European rules to outlaw age discrimination are welcome. Unions have campaigned for this for years. Older workers know just how difficult it can be to find jobs, even when they combine years of experience with up to date skills.

“But it would be a real shame to spoil this advance, by levelling down statutory redundancy payments so that workers of all ages get the same lower rate. It sends the wrong signal to employers who may feel free to cut other benefits to their older staff in the same way.”

(KMcA/SP)






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