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Flexible working could help businesses cope with end of DRA

An employment law expert has suggested that the Government’s plans to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees could help employers manage the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA).

In an opinion piece for, Ben Doherty, an employment expert at law firm Pinsent Masons LLP, said that the extension of the right to request flexible working would be a good "compromise" for employees approaching 65 who want to keep working and employers who will be concerned with keeping wage bills down and taking on new staff.

He said it could offer a structured way for employers to rely less on older workers without leaving themselves open to discrimination claims.

The Government confirmed earlier this month that the Default Retirement Age will be scrapped and employers will no longer be able to force employees to retire at 65 if they wish to carry on working. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also recently renewed the Government’s pledge to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and has promised that a consultation will be launched soon. As is the case now, employers will be bound only to consider requests and will be able to turn a worker’s request down for a legitimate business reason.

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