Does a Compulsory Retirement Age Infringe Human Rights Law? – by Hugh Collins – UK Labour Law Blog

‘An employer’s compulsory retirement scheme requires the dismissal of an employee for no other reason than the employee has attained a specified retirement age. The retirement age may be fixed in the terms of the contract of employment, a staff handbook, a collective agreement, or other regulations that determine the rules governing a particular retirement age. Although compulsory retirement used to be lawful, since 2011 the position in the United Kingdom (UK) is that an employee dismissed in accordance with an employer’s policy of a compulsory retirement age can bring a claim either for unfair dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996 or (for workers as well as employees) for age discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. Following Seldon v Clarkson Wright & Jakes [2012] UKSC 16, an employer can justify the age discrimination of a compulsory retirement age as a proportionate measure in pursuit of a legitimate aim, such as preserving the promotion prospects of younger staff or the avoidance of intrusive surveillance of the job performance of older staff.’

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UK Labour Law Blog, 17th March 2021