March 31, 2022
Sinn Féin introduce bill to stop older workers being forced out of their jobs

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD and spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD introduced to the Dáil today the Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) Bill 2022, which seeks to abolish mandatory retirement ages and stop older workers being forced out of their jobs.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Year after year, workers are forced out of their jobs because of their age.

“This is due to the fact that the law allows employers to set mandatory retirement ages in their workers’ contracts.

“In the main, Sinn Féin see this as being unfair and ageist, and we want to see it changed.

“At the moment, the government is denying workers two choices as they get older.

“Firstly, they deny workers the right to retire on their full pension at 65 and, secondly, they deny workers the right to work on if they chose to do so.

“Inaction on these two matters have left workers in limbo and has driven many onto the dole.

“After a lifetime of work, people deserve the right to or continue to work if they choose to do so; and they deserve the right to retire on a full state pension at 65.

“Naturally, there are exceptions in the bill for those in security-related employment who have special retirement ages already set.

“However, Sinn Féin specifically believe that age should not determine whether someone can do their job.”

Teachta Kerrane continued:

“A number of organisations have called for the abolition of the mandatory retirement age for many years. Indeed, public opinion polls regularly indicate that the general public supports the abolition of mandatory retirement age.

“In recent years a number of pension reforms have caused huge hardship for our older citizens and have particularly impacted on women. The bill represents an opportunity for us to do something positive for those who wish to work beyond 65.

“This legislation has come before the Dáil and been passed unanimously twice already. It is now time to act on it.

“The Bill is about giving people a choice, and it will put an end to the facilitation of ageism which should have no place in our society, and which certainly should not be presided over by the government.”

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