New legislation proposed by the Government to outlaw age discrimination could improve employment relations in the voluntary sector, according to campaigners.
The legislation would ban employers from imposing mandatory retirement ages and would give workers over 65 the same employment rights as younger people.
"I have heard of some charities that won't allow employees to work past a nominal age but do allow volunteers to work into their seventies," said Keith Frost, spokesman for Third Sector Employment network, which campaigns to help mature people who want to continue training and working. "The legislation would ease this kind of problem."
The consultation has been welcomed by charities representing mature people.
Figures released by Help the Aged show that 78 per cent of people in their late fifties and early sixties want to work part time after retiring.