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CPH Consulting/EEF survey

CPH Consulting/EEF survey - manufacturers urge retention of default retirement age
CPH Consulting, the specialist provider of talent management solutions for small, medium sized and emerging companies has sponsored a major Employment Survey undertaken by EEF, the manufacturers organization from which a report on retirement ages has just been published.
The survey of nearly 500 employers shows that more than two-thirds (68%) support the retention of the default retirement age of 65 support being slightly higher amongst large and medium size companies.
In addition, the survey shows that most requests by employees to postpone their retirement had been accepted by employers, indicating that the right to request arrangements are working well and are providing a useful trigger for employers to discuss future employment/retirement plans with their employees.
Commenting on these findings, Jerry Wright, Joint Managing Director of CPH Consulting said:
Given the decline in pension and savings values in recent years, employees are now seeking the opportunity to extend their careers. It is, therefore, encouraging that many manufacturers whilst being supportive of the default retirement age are also adopting a flexible approach to staff requests to continue working beyond that timeIn addition, the CPH Consulting/EEF Employment Survey 2009 showed that:-
Just under half of employees who had reached age 65 in the last year had asked to postpone their retirement and continue workingThe majority of requests to continue working after age 65 that were accepted by employers resulted in employees continuing in the same job on either a full-time or part-time basisIn only a few cases and generally in large companies, these requests resulted in employees working in a different job 
Recent research for the CBI said that 'half of UK firms plan pay freeze' - Bird & Bird Employment partner Elizabeth Laing comments: Most contracts don't have an express right to a pay rise.  Many do have the right to a review, but with no guarantee of a rise.  Even if the employer was in breach of contract by not implementing a payrise (for example if the contract provides the right to an increase which is not being honoured) most employees in the current climate are in practice likely to take the view that it is better to have a job with lower pay than to be suing their employer.    Employers who are in the unusual position of being contractually bound to award payrises would be well advised to explain the reasons for not giving the payrise, and seeking the employee's agreement to the situation.  If such a process is followed but the employee still asserts the right to the payrise there could be a claim for constructive dismissal, which would involve a claims for breach of contract and unfair dismissal.  An unfair dismissal claim could be potentially defended if the employer has acted reasonably in the process.   However, this situation is quite unlikely to arise in practice.  In fact, a number of employees have in the past few months agreed to pay cuts.


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