Minister looking into ending forced retirement

Elderly association: It’s still a step in the right direction

Today, almost 100,000 people in Denmark found out if their higher education application was successful (photo: Pixabay)
August 15th, 2014 12:11 pm| by admin
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The minister of employment, Mette Frederiksen, is looking into the possibility of ending forced retirement for 70-year olds in the labour force.

Frederiksen argued that there shouldn’t be any laws or regulations that prohibit a person over 70 from working, should they want to.

“A lot of people still have much to offer once they turn 70, so we need to challenge old dogmas about what one can and can’t do in various stages of life,” Frederiksen told Politiken newspaper.

“You must have the opportunity to work, as long as you have the desire and the qualifications.”

Differential treatment because of age is currently illegal in the Danish labour market, but a chapter in the legislation still makes it possible for companies to automatically terminate employees as soon as they reach the age of 70.

READ MORE: Elderly increasingly isolated in rural areas

Exceptions exist
While the government intends to make it illegal for 70-year rules to be written into employment agreements, there are still some sectors that will enforce the 70-year rule – for example, public service positions such as priests and judges and jobs with security concerns like pilots.

However, it’s still a step in the right direction, according to Peter Halkjær, a senior consultant with elderly organisation Ældresagen.

“If the proposal is approved, then its goodbye to an obsolete belief that people over the age of 70 are generally not suited to the labour market,” Halkjær said.

"Many elderly today are not as worn down as they were previously and still have something to offer.”

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