Mandatory retirement age petition meritous

The Federation of Kenya Employers forces employees to retire at 60—and 65 for persons with disability.

Photo credit: RBA

The court case filed by Charles Chege arguing that the mandatory retirement age of 60—and 65 for persons with disability—being contrary to the law is a crucial step towards promoting equal opportunities for all.

The right to work should not be limited to a person reaching old age, unless the person has failed in his work ethnically or has health-related issues . Ideally, some 65-year-olds are quite strong and fit, contrary to assumptions that at this point one is physically aged.

The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) forces employees to retire at 60—and 65 for persons with disability—in the absence of any supporting law on the issue, which is disheartening.

Advocating the removal of age-based restrictions on employment and highlighting the discriminatory practices faced by individuals with disabilities is right. In addition, the government should address the systemic barriers that hinder the participation of marginalised groups in the workforce.

The proposed removal of mandatory retirement age, if effected, could create more opportunities for unemployed youth, especially those with disabilities, to enter and remain in the workforce for longer. It would allow them to contribute their skills and talents to the economy, fostering greater inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

The challenge to the action of employers, of enforcing retirement ages without legal backing, is meritous. It’s imperative that employment policies are in line with the principles of equality and equity.

Additionally, successful implementation of the proposal will lead to a significant shift in how employment is approached in the country with a focus on merit, abilities and contributions rather than arbitrary age limits. 

It will also pave the way for the development of more inclusive and supportive policies to address the specific needs of unemployed and disabled youth, providing them with greater opportunities for meaningful employment and economic empowerment.

Handzon Opiyo, Nairobi