The paper, entitled 'Age Matters', seeks views on:
• the abolition of employers' mandatory retirement ages (dismissal at a given age) unless employers can objectively justify them;
• the possibility of a default retirement age of 70, at which employers could retire employees without having to justify dismissal on objective grounds;
• proposed legitimate aims which employers, exceptionally, could use to help justify the retention of a small number of age-related practices; and
• changes to the legislation regarding unfair dismissal and redundancy.
The consultation will last until 20th October 2003 and the government intends to enact the legislation (which will take the form of Regulations) by the end of 2004, to give businesses a clear two years to change policies before they commence at the end of 2006.