Time’s up for the default retirement age

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Posted in:HR and Employment|February 3, 2011 | Join the mailing list

The Government has confirmed that it’s abolishing the default retirement age (“DRA”). After 1 October 2011, it will be unlawful to force staff to retire when they reach or have passed 65, unless you can justify that dismissal by showing it was reasonable.

There will also be a six month transitional period from 6 April to 1 October 2011, during which retirement processes already begun under the current statutory procedure can be completed.

Employers should be aware, however, that the last date on which forced retirement notices can be served on employees without risking a claim is not 6 April, but is 30 March 2011. Up to 30 March, employers can retire staff at or above 65 without having to justify
it and without risking a claim, provided that the employer has issued a forced retirement notice to the employee by 30 March, the date of retirement falls at least six months after that notice and before 1 October 2011, and the specific statutory procedure
has been complied with. There’s a window between 30 March and 6 April 2011 during which employers can still serve forced retirement notices and avoid any subsequent forced retirement before 1 October 2011 being unlawful, but in those circumstances the employee
could claim compensation of up to eight weeks’ pay.

It’s therefore important to review your workforce now and decide whether any forced retirement notices need to be issued before 30 March 2011. It’s also important to note that this is only a brief summary of the legal requirements, and you need to make sure
that you’re fully up to speed before acting if you want to limit the risk of a claim.


For further advice and for practical and effective help in relation to this or any other employment law issue, please contact a member of the Berg Employment Team on 0161 833 9211 or by e-mail:


Alison Loveday:
alisonl@berg.co.uk
Nigel Crebbin:
nigelc@berg.co.uk
Claire Coutts:
clairec@berg.co.uk
Sally Tomlinson:
sallyt@berg.co.uk


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