Abolition of the default retirement age
Last week BIS published the draft Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age) Regulations 2011. The position now is that staff that will turn 65 in the period from 6 April 2011 until 30 September 2011 can be compulsorily retired up until 5 April 2012 and the employer will still benefit from protection against claims for age discrimination and unfair dismissal provided they are given a minimum six months notice of retirement before 6 April 2011 and follow the statutory process.
However, there is some uncertainty in the draft Regulations over the ability of the employer to lawfully retire staff who will have reached 65 before 6 April 2011. It appears to be the case that where employees are already 65 and over that it may not now be safe to give them notice of retirement. It is also unclear whether notice that has already been served to staff aged 65 or over to retire after 6 April 2011 will still be valid when the draft Regulations come into force. This position is expected to be clarified by BIS soon to ensure that it will cover everyone who could lawfully have been given notice of retirement before 6 April 2011, i.e. those aged 65 or over.
BIS has also announced that the government will introduce an exemption to the principle of equal treatment where group risk insured benefits are provided by an employer. This will permit these benefits to be withdrawn in line with State Pension Age, initially applying to employees age 65 and above, and rising thereafter.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016