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Departments: Manpower

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what percentage of employees in (a) his Department and (b) each (i) executive agency and (ii) non-departmental public body funded by his Department are above state retirement age. (158949)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) employed 40 staff (0.65 per cent. of the total workforce) who were above the state retirement age on 1 October 2006. In addition FCO Directorates and overseas Missions recruit contract or agency staff for specific tasks or projects. Some of these staff are above the state retirement age; but we do not hold records for them centrally. To collate the figures would incur disproportionate cost.

Wilton Park, an executive agency of the FCO, employs no staff over the state retirement age. Appointments to non-departmental public bodies supported by the FCO are made independently of the FCO. We do not hold staff records for them.

The FCO is committed to promoting age equality in the workplace. We were amongst the first Department in Whitehall to abolish mandatory retirement ages for all staff below the Senior Management Structure/Senior Civil Service (for whom a retirement age of 65 had been set centrally) in 2006.