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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 24 July 2008
The right to a job

• UNDER the Employment Equality Age Regulations 2006, which our Parliament rubber-stamped in March 2006 and which came into force on October 1 2006, all those over 65, 18 per cent of the population, have very limited rights.

In the age regulations, Patricia Hewitt introduced into British law the National Default Retirement Age. The NDRA allows any employer legally to sack any employee, no matter how competent or loyal, on grounds of “retirement” as long as the employer follows a simple statutory procedure.
That is what Camden did to Jill Banerjee (Forced to Retire:
the librarian with four decades of loyal
service, July 17).
She is one of thousands being subjected to this humiliating, financially disastrous and ageist law. The employer does not have to provide any reasons for sacking the employee.
The employee can request the “right to work past 65” but the employer is under no obligation to grant that request. The request does not even have to be considered “in good faith” as that requirement was removed from the legislation.  
Moreover, no employer need consider the application of any job candidate aged over 64.5 under the law.
Fortunately, Age Concern has challenged that part of the legislation and the challenge has just been heard in the European Court of Justice.
The judgement is due in December 2008.  
Even if Age Concern lose, the regulations call for the NDRA to be “reviewed” in 2011 but that means the earliest it would be abolished is 2013.
Last week in the House of Lords, Baroness Greengross recommended bringing forward the review from 2011, commenting that many people will be dead by the time 2011 comes around. The review is a farce anyway as it was never made clear how the government would review the situation and no criteria were agreed.
Write to your MP urging them to file a motion to bring forward the date of the review from 2011 to January 2009.
Savernake Road, NW3

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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