43. Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Federation of Small Businesses
Default Retirement Age
78% of FSB members do not have a fixed retirement age.
However we do believe that retirement ages have a place in employment law. There are certain sectors where DRA is a way of retiring members of staff if there are safety concerns, especially construction. This can often be an easier way of approaching the issue for both parties than a disciplinary route when talking to a respected and valued member of staff. For small companies there can also be concerns about career progression and motivating other members of staff. On the whole small businesses have a very positive attitude towards older workers who are seen as having a better work ethic. But we believe that the Default Retirement Age allows businesses to set their own policies and have to have a positive conversation with employees about retirement options. Many FSB members are finding that more employees are wanting to work after 65 and this is usually regarded as positive for both the business and the employee.
Division of responsibilities within government departments
The FSB would like to see all information about equalities coming to business through Business link. This fits with the government's aim to have a single portal for business information. Also Business link are more used to communicating with the business community that other government departments and we believe that they would be more able to communicate a complicated piece of legislation in an effective way.