AGE members Age UK and The Age and Employment Network have published their common priorities on the European Semester 2015, focussing on employment of older people. With higher retirement ages, more people need to work, but discrimination and unemployment are still widespread among older people. Increased legal fees counterbalance attempts to enforce non-discrimination legislation
Age UK and TEAN acknowledge the value of some government initiatives, such as ‘Fuller Working Lives’ and the ‘Work Programme’, but do not deem these efforts sufficient to tackle widespread age discrimination. The introduction of new fees for claimants who seize an employment tribunal will not contribute to enforce the right of non-discrimination, frustrating the intentions of the 2000 Equality Directive.
Other important areas that should be dealt with are the accommodation of caring responsibilities by older employees and the high long-term unemployment of older people. Training of older employees is needed just as much as it is for younger ones. Mid-term career reviews can play an important role in enabling longer working lives, and the improvement of working conditions in view of reducing hardness and severity is crucial.