Retirement in the Workplace
It is often said that time passes quickly, and it is now five years since the default retirement age was abolished. Previously before 2011 an employer was able to retire an employee once they reached the age of 65 years provided they followed a statutory procedure.
Although legislation withdrew the default retirement age in 2011 many employers still believe that they are still able to retire an employee, and this is a fair reason for dismissal. Unfortunately this is not the case.
An employer should be careful of how to address the issue, and in most cases this is the choice of the individual. An employer should be aware of the following areas;
- An employee should not be placed under pressure to retire. This could have implications involving age discrimination, and constructive unfair dismissal.
- If an older employee is performance managed comments such as being ‘old-fashioned’ should be avoided. This again has implications involving potential age discrimination.
There are some exemptions where keeping a retirement age can be justified. This is currently the case within the Police or Fire Service. This has been subject to challenge within the employment tribunal system, but to date such cases have not successful from an employee viewpoint.
It should be recognised that older workers have alot to offer an employer, especially in terms of experience.