COMPANIES could face a f lood of claims for unfair dismissal under age discrimination legislation coming into force next year.
From October 2006, employers planning to retire workers at 65 will have to notify staff at least six months in advance of their retirement date or risk being taken to an employment tribunal.
Under the DTI's proposed regulations, staff will have a right to request working beyond retirement age, which firms must consider seriously.
The current upper age limit of 65 for unfair dismissals will be abolished and any retirement that does not follow the new procedures will lay companies open to claims.
Construction Confederation industrial relations director Gerry Lean said: 'These new regulations could have a profound effect on the industry.
Businesses could expose themselves simply though ignorance of the new rules.'