Last Friday the 5th October marked the final day that the Default Retirement Age can operate as employees will no longer be able to force workers to retire following the abolition of the Default Retirement Age last year. This means that employers can no longer compulsorily retire workers once they reach the age of 65.
Prior to April 2011, employers had to give staff between six and 12 months’ notice of intention to make them retire, with an additional six months possible extension if they were compelling them to retire under the rules.
This does not mean that employees will never be able to retire, but that an employer cannot lawfully force an employee to retire at a set age unless the age can be objectively justified under the Equality Act. If this is not possible, the employer faces threat of a claim for age discrimination and for unfair dismissal.
Employers therefore now have two options. These are:
- To stop retiring people and use other dismissal options where necessary; or
- To use an employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA), which has to be objectively justified.
For more information on this please contact us on 01493 303636.