During a recent debate in the House of Lords, a campaign to abolish the default retirement age of 65 received support.
The campaign was mounted by Personnel Today and the Employers Forum on Age (EFA) and it aims to get the government to commit to scrapping the employment law in 2011, rather than simply reviewing it.
According to a report in Personnel Today, peers agreed that many employers in the UK need help to overcome fears about removing the default retirement age.
They also pointed out that more experienced staff members are useful to companies during the current economic downturn.
However, speaking on behalf of the government, Lord Carter refused to commit to an earlier review than the one scheduled for 2011.
Responding to the statement, Catharine Pusey, director of the EFA, said: "It is ... disappointing that the government is not more forthcoming to anything beyond a review of the default retirement age in 2011, despite cross-party support for its abolition."
Established in 1996, the EFA in an independent network of employers. It describes itself as Britain's "leading authority on age".