Do you think people should be forced to retire at 65?
The reason I want to ask you this is because of the fact that Valerie Cox has won her case against Rte.
She said losing her job because of her age was “the most appalling thing”.
Valerie who is 67 year old said she’s delighted her successful Workplace Relations Commission case has been hailed as striking a blow against ageism in Ireland.
It saw RTÉ being ordered to pay her €50,000 after the WRC ruled she had been discriminated against on the basis of her age.
Her case was raised in the Dáil by Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin, who described it as a “landmark decision” and predicted it will open a flood-gate of similar cases.
Valerie’s full-time contract had been terminated by RTÉ in March 2016 when she turned the retirement age of 65.
She then found out in December 2016 her casual contract to front the early morning newspaper slot was also finished.
She said she was informed this was down to her age, despite there being two people over 65 working on the show at the time.
She was also going through a “very stressful time” in her personal life, given her husband Brian was struck down with an illness and spent several months in a coma in hospital.
I am going to speak to Valerie in a couple of moments about this but before I do I want to ask you if you think there is a real problem with ageism in Ireland.
There is no single fixed retirement age for employees. If you are employed, your retirement age is set out in your contract of employment.
Some contracts of employment have a mandatory retirement age (that is, the age at which you must retire), but they also have provisions for earlier retirement generally and/or on grounds of illness.
The usual retirement age in contracts of employment is 65. Many have provisions for early retirement from age 60 or in some cases from age 55 and most have provision for early retirement on health grounds.
In some cases, there is a statutory retirement age.
There is a statutory, (that is, set out in legislation), retirement age for some public servants. For people who joined the public service before 1 April 2004 this is generally 65. Since 1 January 2013, the minimum retirement age for new entrants is 66 rising to 68 in 2028 in line with the State Contributory Pension.
However, many people disagree with people being forced to retire and think it is age discrimination. They believe if a person is capable and enjoys their job they should not be turfed out because they have reached a certain age.
Others however, think retirement ages are only fair to make way for younger people trying to get into the job market.
Today I want to get your opinion on ageism in Ireland and on retirement.
Have you ever been a victim of ageism?
So – do you think it is discrimination to force people to retire at 65?
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