Ageism has become the most common form of unfair discrimination in the workplace, the head of TUC has claimed.
General secretary Brendan Barber said employers should fully use older staff, while the Government should give older workers a choice about how and when they retire.
Two out of five retired men and one in five retired women were leaving work earlier than expected, Mr Barber told a London conference.
Mr Barber called for more investment in training for older workers, including paid time off to update skills. He also said people should be able to ease themselves into retirement by working part-time.
“Older workers are an invaluable source of experience”, said Mr Barber: “Put simply, ageism – like any form of discrimination – is simply bad for business”.
He said the abuse suffered by ex-Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell over his age would not have been tolerated on gender, sexuality or disability grounds.
“Bristol Evening Post” 22.11.07