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Forcing staff to retire

Some staff may feel forced to retire.  Employers may have negative attitudes to older workers and behave so that they feel that they have to retire.  Behaviour could include:

  • threatening to retrench or dismiss older staff because of their age
  • training younger staff and not older staff
  • giving older staff demeaning, fewer or low status tasks
  • using medical tests to force staff to retire
  • using fixed term contracts - it is generally unlawful to employ older staff on fixed term contracts when younger staff are not
  • withdrawing benefits or stopping accrual of benefits based on years of service, for example increments or bonuses.

Compulsory retirement because of age is generally unlawful in Australia, under both state and federal laws. 

If you force staff to retire they may lodge an age discrimination complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission.

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