During a Raising the State Pension Age debate, Natalie Elphicke, Member of Parliament for Dover and Deal, raised the issue of age discrimination, calling for a change in the law. 

She spoke in a debate on raising the state pension age, raising the unfair age discrimination faced by her Deal constituent, Stephen.  

She explained, Stephen had worked with his company for nearly 30 years as an exemplary employee but when he reached his 66th birthday, his company took away his workplace benefits on health insurance, life insurance and private healthcare.  


Natalie Elphicke pointed out in the debate that while age discrimination in general is unlawful, there is a loophole that allows lawful age discrimination in relation to work benefits – like health insurance, private health cover and life insurance. Once a person reaches retirement age, those benefits can simply be stopped at the discretion of an employer, and there’s nothing an older worker can do about it.  

That means that an older worker is not on the same terms and conditions as a younger worker doing exactly the same job.

It means that a worker is paid differently the day before their 66th birthday to the day after it.

It means that while a younger worker has, for example, access to fast private healthcare to get back to work quickly, including for a workplace injury, that is not available to someone older.  

With the state pension age going up, it is vital that workers are treated with respect and fairness in older age. If the state age pension goes up, then people will need to work for longer. That means investment in skills training for older people too.  

Speaking in the debate Natalie Elphicke MP said:  “There is no justification for the treatment of my hardworking and loyal constituent, Stephen, for the discrimination that he has faced in his workplace. If the pension age is to be raised again, if we are going to keep making these changes and force people to stay in work for longer, then age discrimination must be tackled first.  

“We should be taking steps now to make changes in the workplace to make sure that older people who now have to work longer will be able to do so, that they are treated fairly and equitably, then we should be outlawing this dated and discriminatory law against older workers.” 

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By Ed

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