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International Aging

International Resources

International & National Principles, Rights and Responsibilities of Older Persons

International Labour Conference Recommendation 162 Concerning Older Workers

Background:


The International Labour Conference, organized periodically by the International Labour Organisation (a UN-affiliated organization), is comprised of representatives of government, trade unions and employer groups. At its 1980 meeting, it approved a far-reaching Recommendation concerning older workers. Below are excerpts drawn from this Recommendation that incorporate language akin to "rights" language. The document has the status of a recommendation only - it is not binding on member states. For further information, contact:

International Labour Office
4, route des Morillons
Ch-1211 Geneve 22
Switzerland Fax: 41/22 799 8451

International Labour Conference Recommendation 162 Concerning Older Workers (Approved 1980)

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation.

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and Having met in its Sixty-sixth Session on 4 June 1980, and....

Considering it desirable to supplement the existing instruments with standards on equality of opportunity and treatment for older workers, on their protection in employment and on preparation for and access to retirement, and....

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,

adopts this twenty-third day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and eighty the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Older Workers Recommendation, l980:

I. General Provisions
1. (1) This Recommendation applies to all workers who are liable to encounter difficulties in employment and occupation because of advancement in age...

II. Equality of Opportunity and Treatment
5. Older workers should, without discrimination by reason of their age, enjoy equality of opportunity and treatment with other workers as regards, in particular-

(a) access to vocational guidance and placement services;

(b) access, taking account of their personal skills, experience and qualifications, to:

(i) employment of their choice in both the public and private sectors; provided that in exceptional cases age limits may be set because of special requirement, conditions or rules of certain types of employment;

(ii) vocational training facilities, in particular further training and retraining;

(iii) paid educational leave, in particular for the purpose of training and trade union education;

(iv) promotion and eligibility for distribution of tasks;

(c) employment security, subject to national law and practice relating to termination of employment;...

(d) remuneration for work of equal value;

(e) social security measures and welfare benefits;

(f) conditions of work, including occupational safety and health measures;

(g) access to housing, social services and health institutions, in particular when this access is related to occupational activity or employment....

8. Older workers and trade union organizations as well as employers and their organizations should have access to bodies empowered to examine and investigate complaints regarding equality of opportunity and treatment, with a view to securing the correction of any practices regarded as in conflict with the policy.....

IV. Preparation for and Access to Retirement
24. (1) Older workers who are unemployed during a prescribed period prior to the date on which they reach the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit should, where an unemployment benefit scheme exists, continue until such date to receive unemployment benefit or adequate income maintenance.

(2) Alternatively, older workers who have been unemployed for at least one year should be eligible for an early retirement benefit during a prescribed period prior to the date on which they reach the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit;...

25. (1) Older workers who:

(a) have been engaged in occupations that are deemed arduous or unhealthy, for the purpose of old-age benefit, by national laws or regulations or national practice, or

(b) are recognized as being unfit for work to a degree prescribed,

should be eligible, during a prescribed period prior to the date on which they reach the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit, for an early retirement benefit the grant of which may be made dependent upon a prescribed qualifying period;...

26. Older workers to whom Paragraphs 24 and 25 do not apply should be eligible for an early old-age benefit during a prescribed period prior to the date on which they reach the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit, subject to such reductions as may be made in the amount of any periodical old-age benefit they would have received at that age...

29. Older workers who are fit for work should be able to defer their claim to an old-age benefit beyond the age normally qualifying workers for such a benefit, for example either for the purpose of satisfying all qualifying conditions for benefit or with a view to receiving benefit at a higher rate taking account of the later age at which the benefit is taken and, as the case may be, of the additional work or contributions...

V. Implementation
31. Effect may be given to this Recommendation, by stages as necessary, through laws or regulations or collective agreements or in any other manner consistent with national practice and taking account of national economic and social conditions.