R162 Recommendation concerning Older Workers
Geneva, 23 giugno 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
Recalling that the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention and Recommendation, 1958, do not include age among the grounds for discrimination listed therein, but provide for possible additions to the list, and
Recalling the specific provisions relating to older workers in the Employment Policy Recommendation, 1964, and in the Human Resources Development Recommendation, 1975, and
Recalling the terms of existing instruments relating to the social security of older persons, in particular the Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors' Benefits Convention and Recommendation, 1967, and
Recalling also the provisions of article 6, paragraph (3), of the Declaration on Equality of Opportunity and Treatment for Women Workers, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its Sixtieth Session in 1975, 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 decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to older workers: work and retirement, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, 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, 1980:
I. General Provisions
(1) This Recommendation applies to all workers who are liable to encounter difficulties in employment and occupation because of advancement in age.
(2) In giving effect to this Recommendation, a more precise definition of the workers to whom it applies, with reference to specific age categories, may be adopted in each country, in a manner consistent with national laws, regulations and practice and appropriate under local conditions.
(3) The workers to whom this Recommendation applies are referred to herein as as older workers.
2. Employment problems of older workers should be dealt with in the context of an over-all and well balanced strategy for full employment and, at the level of the undertaking, of an over-all and well balanced social policy, due attention being given to all population groups, thereby ensuring that employment problems are not shifted from one group to another.
II. Equality of Opportunity and Treatment
3. Each Member should, within the framework of a national policy to promote equality of opportunity and treatment for workers, whatever their age, and of laws and regulations and of practice on the subject, take measures for the prevention of discrimination in employment and occupation with regard to older workers.
4. Each Member should, by methods appropriate to national conditions and practice:
(a) make provision for the effective participation of employers' and workers' organisations in formulating the policy referred to in Paragraph 3 of this Recommendation;
(b) make provision for the effective participation of employers' and workers' organisations in promoting the acceptance and observance of this policy;
(c) enact such legislation and/or promote such programmes as may be calculated to secure the acceptance and observance of the policy.
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 requirements, 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 and subject to the results of the examination referred to in Paragraph 22 of this Recommendation;
(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.
6. Each Member should examine relevant statutory provisions and administrative regulations and practices in order to adapt them to the policy referred to in Paragraph 3 of this Recommendation.
7. Each Member should, by methods appropriate to national conditions and practice:
(a) ensure as far as possible the observance of the policy referred to in Paragraph 3 of this Recommendation in all activities under the direction or control of a public authority;
(b) promote the observance of that policy in all other activities, in co-operation with employers' and workers' organisations and any other bodies concerned.
8. Older workers and trade union organisations as well as employers and their organisations 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.
9. All appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that guidance, training and placement services provide older workers with the facilities, advice and assistance they may need to enable them to take full advantage of equality of opportunity and treatment.
10. Application of the policy referred to in Paragraph 3 of this Recommendation should not adversely affect such special protection or assistance for older workers as is recognised to be necessary.
11. Within the framework of a national policy to improve working conditions and the working environment at all stages of working life, measures appropriate to national conditions and practice designed to enable older workers to continue in employment under satisfactory conditions should be devised, with the participation of the representative organisations of employers and workers.
(1) Studies should be undertaken, with the participation of employers' and workers' organisations, in order to identify the types of activity likely to hasten the ageing process or in which older workers encounter difficulties in adapting to the demands of their work, to determine the reasons, and to devise appropriate solutions.
(2) These studies may be part of a general system for evaluating jobs and corresponding skills.
(3) The results of the studies should be widely disseminated, in particular to employers' and workers' organisations, and, as the case may be, through them to the older workers concerned.
13. Where the reasons for the difficulties in adaptation encountered by older workers are mainly related to advancement in age, measures in respect of the type of activity in question should to the extent practicable be applied so as to:
(a) remedy those conditions of work and of the working environment that are likely to hasten the ageing process;
(b) modify the forms of work organisation and working time which lead to stress or to an excessive pace of work in relation to the possibilities of the workers concerned, in particular by limiting overtime;
(c) adapt the job and its content to the worker by recourse to all available technical means and, in particular, to ergonomic principles, so as to preserve health, prevent accidents and maintain working capacity;
(d) provide for a more systematic supervision of the workers' state of health;
(e) provide for such supervision on the job as is appropriate for preserving the workers' safety and health.
14. Among the measures to give effect to Paragraph 13, clause (b), of this Recommendation, the following might be taken at the level of the undertaking, after consulting the workers' representatives or with the participation of their representative organisations, or through collective bargaining, according to the practice prevailing in each country:
(a) reducing the normal daily and weekly hours of work of older workers employed on arduous, hazardous or unhealthy work;
(b) promoting the gradual reduction of hours of work, during a prescribed period prior to the date on which they reach the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit, of all older workers who request such reduction;
(c) increasing annual holidays with pay on the basis of length of service or of age;
(d) enabling older workers to organise their work time and leisure to suit their convenience, particularly by facilitating their part-time employment and providing for flexible working hours;
(e) facilitating the assignment of older workers to jobs performed during normal day-time working hours after a certain number of years of assignment to continuous or semi-continuous shift work.
15. Every effort should be made to meet the difficulties encountered by older workers through guidance and training measures such as those provided for in Paragraph 50 of the Human Resources Development Recommendation, 1975.
(1) With the participation of the representative organisations of employers and workers, measures should be taken with a view to applying to older workers, wherever possible, systems of remuneration adapted to their needs.
(2) These measures might include:
(a) use of systems of remuneration that take account not only of speed of performance but also of know-how and experience;
(b) the transfer of older workers from work paid by results to work paid by time.
17. Measures might also be taken to make available to older workers if they so desire other employment opportunities in their own or in another occupation in which they can make use of their talents and experience, as far as possible without loss of earnings.
18. In cases of reduction of the workforce, particularly in declining industries, special efforts should be made to take account of the specific needs of older workers, for instance by facilitating retraining for other industries, by providing assistance in securing new employment or by providing adequate income protection or adequate financial compensation.
19. Special efforts should be made to facilitate the entry or re-entry into employment of older persons seeking work after having been out of employment due to their family responsibilities.
IV. Preparation for and Access to Retirement
20. For the purposes of this Part of this Recommendation:
(a) the term prescribed means determined by or in virtue of one of the means of action referred to in Paragraph 31 of this Recommendation;
(b) the term old-age benefit means a benefit provided in the case of survival beyond a prescribed age;
(c) the term retirement benefit means old-age benefit the award of which is subject to the cessation of any gainful activity;
(d) the expression age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit means the prescribed age for award of old-age benefit with reference to which such an award can be either advanced or postponed;
(e) the term long-service benefit means a benefit the grant of which depends only upon the completion of a long qualifying period, irrespective of age;
(f) the term qualifying period means a period of contribution, or a period of employment, or a period of residence, or any combination thereof, as may be prescribed.
21. Wherever possible, measures should be taken with a view to:
(a) ensuring that, in a framework allowing for a gradual transition from working life to freedom of activity, retirement is voluntary;
(b) making the age qualifying for an old-age pension flexible.
22. Legislative and other provisions making mandatory the termination of employment at a specified age should be examined in the light of the preceding Paragraph and Paragraph 3 of this Recommendation.
(1) Subject to its policy regarding special benefits, each Member should endeavour to ensure that older workers whose hours of work are gradually reduced and reach a prescribed level, or who start to work on a part-time basis, receive, during a prescribed period prior to the date on which they reach the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit, a special benefit in partial or full compensation for the reduction in their remuneration.
(2) The amount and conditions of the special benefit referred to in subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph should be prescribed; where appropriate, the special benefit should be treated as earnings for the purpose of calculating old-age benefit and the period during which it is paid should be taken into account in such calculation.
(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; the grant of early retirement benefit should not be made dependent upon a qualifying period longer than that required at the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit and its amount, corresponding to that of the benefit the worker concerned would have received at that age, should not be reduced to offset the probable longer duration of payment, but, for the purpose of calculating this amount, the period separating the actual age from the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit need not be included in the qualifying period.
(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 recognised 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; the amount of the benefit, corresponding to that of the benefit the worker concerned would have received at the age normally qualifying workers to an old-age benefit, should not be reduced to offset the probable longer duration of payment, but, for the purpose of calculating this amount, the period separating the actual age from the age normally qualifying workers for an old-age benefit need not be included in the qualifying period.
(2) The provisions of subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph do not apply to:
(a) persons in receipt of an invalidity or other pension on grounds of incapacity for work corresponding to a degree of invalidity or incapacity at least equal to that required to qualify for an early retirement benefit;
(b) persons for whom adequate provision is made through occupational pension schemes or other social security benefits.
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.
27. Under schemes in which the grant of an old-age benefit depends on the payment of contributions or on a period of occupational activity, older workers who have completed a prescribed qualifying period should be entitled to receive a long-service benefit.
28. The provisions of Paragraphs 26 and 27 of this Recommendation need not be applied by schemes in which workers can qualify for an old-age benefit at the age of sixty-five or earlier.
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.
(1) Retirement preparation programmes should be implemented during the years preceding the end of working life with the participation or representative organisations of employers and workers and other bodies concerned. In this connection, account should be taken of the Paid Educational Leave Convention, 1974.
(2) Such programmes should, in particular, enable the persons concerned to make plans for their retirement and to adapt to the new situation by providing them with information on:
(a) income and, in particular, the old-age benefit they can expect to receive, their tax status as pensioners, and the related advantages available to them such as medical care, social services and any reduction in the cost of certain public services;
(b) the opportunities and conditions for continuing an occupational activity, particularly on a part-time basis, and on the possibility of establishing themselves as self-employed;
(c) the ageing process and measures to attenuate it such as medical examinations, physical exercise and appropriate diet;
(d) how to use leisure time;
(e) the availability of facilities for the education of adults, whether for coping with the particular problems of retirement or for maintaining or developing interests and skills.
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.
32. Appropriate measures should be taken with a view to informing the public and, more particularly, those responsible for guidance, training, placement and the social services concerned, as well as employers, workers and their respective organisations, of the problems which older workers may encounter in respect, in particular, of the matters dealt with in Paragraph 5 of this Recommendation and of the desirability of helping them to overcome such problems.
33. Measures should be taken to ensure that older workers are fully informed of their rights and opportunities and encouraged to avail themselves of them.
• C111 Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, 25 giugno 1958
• C128 Convention concerning Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors' Benefits, 29 giugno 1967
• C140 Convention concerning Paid Educational Leave, 24 giugno 1974
• R111 Recommendation concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, 25 giugno 1958
• R122 Recommendation concerning Employment Policy, 9 luglio 1964
• R131 Recommendation concerning Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors' Benefits, 29 giugno 1967
• R150 Recommendation concerning Vocational Guidance and Vocational Training in the Development of Human Resources, 23 giugno 1975