Under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 (and now the Equality Act 2010) employers have the right to impose retirement on employees who are aged 65 or over. There are no adverse consequences for the employer, provided the correct procedure is followed.
This right is going to disappear from April 2011. There will however be transitional arrangements so that provided due notice has been given, employers will be able to impose retirement up to 30 September 2011.
In effect this means that employers have a window of opportunity which will close at the end of March 2011 to impose retirement on employees aged 65 or over. Thereafter, the dismissal of an employee aged 65 or over will have to be justified on one of the potentially fair grounds for dismissal (conduct, capability, redundancy or some other substantial reason).
While employers may be glad to retain the skills of employees who have passed their normal retirement age, it would be prudent to check payroll records to establish whether there are any employees who are already 65 or are approaching that age where the employer may want to take advantage of the present law to terminate employment by reason of retirement.
Partner & Accredited Employment Law Specialist