18 March 2011 #Employment
According to figures released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) unemployment across the UK has reached its highest level for 17 years of 8%. That is an unemployed total of 2.53 million. The figures cover the three months to the end of January 2011.
The ONS states that youth unemployment has risen to 18.3%. Contrastly the number of people in employment aged 65 and over has increased by 56,000 to reach the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.
These figures may well rise further after 6 April when the default retirement age is removed. Up to this point employers have been able to compulsorily retire employees over 65 (some younger if they can objectively justify it) without the threat of age discrimination claims. However from 6 April employers will only be able to retire employees if it can be objectively justified. In practice this is going to be exceedingly difficult!
The deadline for serving what may well be employers` final notifications of retirement is looming. The last date for personally serving notices is 4 April 2011, so employers need to assess their workforce, any succession plans and get their houses in order quickly.