R162 - Older Workers Recommendation, 1980 (No. 162)


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. 1
    • (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 older workers.
  2. 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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...

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