A different age..

Posted: 12th October 2011

65We reported in April this year on the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011.

These rules are now with us. Consequently, any dismissal by reference to retirement after 6 April this year amounts to age discrimination under Section 13 of The Equality Act 2010.

It is possible for employers to escape the consequences of such discrimination if they can demonstrate that it is objectively justified but already it is widely accepted that it would be hard for them to do so.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, an overwhelming majority - 97% - of employers have indicated that they will not retain a default retirement age. Almost a quarter say that their ability to recruit younger employers will diminish.

These statistics come from a survey undertaken by international law firm, Norton Rose, the findings of which also include:

  • 86% of employers are retaining employees over the age of 65 in the same role
  • Almost 50% are considering flexible working arrangements for staff over 65
  • Approximately three quarters admit that line managers have yet to be given up-to-date training on how to discuss retirement with staff
  • Almost half of employers feel that abolition of the default retirement age will have a negative effect on their business
  • In contrast, a little over 10% recognize the possible advantages of retaining experienced skilled staff.

Retirement policies are typically (now) included within a staff handbook. The Equality Act 2010 has consolidated and changed the law in many other areas. Other developments such as the prominence of whistleblowing claims and the arrival (finally) of The Bribery Act 2011 make review of internal policies and employment contracts essential.

Contact us without delay for assistance with all or any of these matters.

Click here to see the full report - A retirement revolution - Life after the default retirement age.