Why Pushing Older Employees Out Could Get You In Trouble
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If you’ve improved your ICT infrastructure or internal processes and are finding that older employees are unwilling to accept change, then no doubt you will be presented with the challenge of getting them to ‘adapt and adopt’.
Working closely with your team of over 60s must be handled with care and cooperation, even if they are unwilling to cooperate with you. The words ‘change’ and 'retirement' are still taboo for many people who have been working within an organisation for decades and don't forget many of our Baby Boomers are extremely experienced and skilled in tasks we could never accomplish. Take, for example, older drivers who experience fewer accidents than their younger counterparts.
Although they may perceive ‘change’ as threatening to their role, you must take the initiative to persuade and outline the benefits of the change for the long term and their role.
Giving them the push to leave can cost you thousands. If your oldest employee is not lifting their weight and meeting performance objectives, then you may have a case for incapability, but you must follow a strict procedure before you decide to dismiss them.
Many organisations initiate a restructure but fail to realise that older employees cannot just be filtered out to make room for younger talent. Some businesses may try to use clever tactics to restructure their organisation and indirectly push out employees, by increasing the fees for their car park or other rental charges.
An employees role should be to comply with a change that is communicated to them, especially if they have been given many months notice in advance. If they try to defy or challenge a change that is designed to benefit the entire organisation, then you may want to initiate a disciplinary procedure to tackle this.
It is unlawful to carry out age discrimination at work and anyone found guilty of this can be prosecuted by the courts.
About the author
James is on the Business Development & Account Management team at Neathouse Partners and regularly posts articles surrounding issues in HR & Employment Law, including case law & legislation updates. If you have a particular issue you would like addressed, feel free to drop James an email, and he will be happy to offer his assistance.
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