STUC Concern for workers health following longer working lives announcement

June 24th 2010

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has called for better support for workers who face having to work longer under new plans announced by the UK Government.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said

“It is a sad fact that far too many people do not reach the current retirement age of 65 as a result of not being physically or mentally fit to carry out their duties. Consequently, they are forced to take early or ill-health retirement, or even worse they are sacked following capability procedures.

“The United Kingdom is still decades behind Scandinavian countries such as Finland where there is a clear understanding that a workers capacity to carry out the demands of their work will vary as they get older, a concept that successive Governments in the UK have failed to acknowledge.

“This has led to a massive loss of experienced and committed workers across the public and private sectors, a loss that could have been avoided if our workforce had access to comprehensive and independent occupational health services and employers accepted their duty to carry out the necessary adjustments to allow workers to remain in work.

“We believe that workers should be allowed to work past the current retirement age of 65, but that should be their choice. Moving to a compulsory extension of the working age of 66 with more to come is concerning. This could lead to many more workers being made ill by their work at a stage in their life when they could be expecting to be looking forward to a long, happy and healthy retirement.

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For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100

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