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Surveys show that the most commonly cited form of employment discrimination is age bias, and that it can affect workers of all ages. Age discrimination in the workplace has been unlawful since 2006 and from 6 April 2011 the Default Retirement Age which allowed employers to forcibly retire workers from age 65 will be phased out.
Trade unions and the TUC have campaigned against age discrimination and for effective legislation to tackle it. Many unions have negotiated with employers to eliminate age bias and to provide better opportunities for young workers. In recent years, measures have been adopted in unionised workplaces to help extend working lives such as removing fixed retirement age policies and adopting flexible retirement options. However, current pension ages and benefits must also be protected for workers to have genuine choice and flexibility about how and when they retire.