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Default Retirement Age
The consultation period on the Government’s proposal has now expired, but we don’t yet know the outcome. As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the key proposals are as follows:

* Employers will not be able to force employees to retire after 1 October 2011 which means no new notices of intended retirement can be issued after 6th April 2011;

* Employers will only be able to retire employees after 1st October 2011 if they can objectively justify this decision (examples could include air traffic controllers and police officers);

* Employers will still be able to retire employees who were notified about the intended date of their retirement before 6 April 2011 and where the date of retirement is before 1st October 2011. If the date of retirement is after 1st October 2011, it will not be valid unless the employer can objectively justify the decision; and

* The procedure, including the right for employees to request to continue working after age 65, that employers are currently required to complete before retiring employees, will also be scrapped.

It is therefore likely that these will come into effect, so unless you have a robust objective reason for retiring (i.e. dismissing) an employee after 1st October 2011 you may have difficulty justifying it. This means that you will need to ensure that all dismissals are carried out for one of the allowed “fair” reasons. Having regular appraisals and good records will therefore be essential if you find that employees are struggling with their duties and need to manage those performance issues appropriately. Having such processes for all your employees regardless of their age or seniority will reduce the potential risk of an age discrimination claim.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016

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