Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Age Discrimination - Setting The Record Straight?

June 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 203

Since the abolition of the UK's default retirement age in 2011, there has been some ambiguity about when retirement should take place, and whether employers could enforce it. Now, after a landmark legal case in the Supreme Court, the matter may not exactly be resolved, but it is certainly a little clearer.

Scrapping Of The Default Retirement Age

In October of last year, campaigners against age discrimination celebrated when the long-established default retirement age (DRA) of 65 was scrapped. Prior to this an employer was within their legal rights to force an employee to retire once they reached 65. This change was in part a recognition of the fact that people today are remaining healthier and active for longer, and partly because the DRA was increasingly seen as a form of age discrimination.

The move was celebrated by age-related charities, but bemoaned by some business organisations. John Walker of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said at the time that it would, "add to the fears of more employment tribunals if an employer does need to dismiss an underperforming member of staff." He added that: "The FSB believes that the default retirement age should be raised in line with increases to the state pension age to take into account an aging population."

Others voiced concern that older workers staying in their jobs for longer would lead to young jobseekers being unable to get the work or training they need.

Intergenerational Fairness And Mandatory Retirement

However, matters concerning the scrapping of the DRA are not as clear-cut as they may first seem. At the end of last month, the Supreme Court ruled on an appeal by solicitor Leslie Seldon, who had been told to retire by the law firm at which he was a partner, after turning 65. It ruled that Clarkson Wright and Jakes were within their rights to force retirement in this case, because the firm's retirement policy was based on, "intergenerational fairness," and upholding the "dignity" of older workers.

On the first point, the employer had argued that their retirement policy ensured that younger workers had the chance to become partners at the firm within a reasonable period. On the second they said that having a set retirement age avoided the need for them to have difficult discussions with older workers about whether they were still fit for the job.

The Supreme Court ruled that in this case a 'public interest' had been served by telling workers to retire at a certain age. It added that: "All businesses will now have to give careful consideration to what, if any, mandatory retirement rules can be justified in their particular business."

Continued Ambiguity

In effect, this ruling makes it clear that in certain cases a mandatory retirement age is legally acceptable, if it can be proved that it serves a legitimate purpose such as protecting the rights of younger workers. However, until further such cases pass through the courts, it may be very difficult for employers to judge whether their retirement policy serves such a purpose.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court did not rule on what a suitable age for retirement should be, instead sending the case back to an employment tribunal. So, for the time being, the ambiguity continues.

Find Out More About The Work Ethic Looking for an Edinburgh Employment Solicitor?

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Employment Law


Legal Retirement Age


Forced Retirement


Work Ethics


Edinburgh Employment Solicitor

Thus, you can apply for the negligence compensation under such circumstances in order to recover your loss, Negligence Claims, Negligence compensation Involvedness of Negligence Claims. The court

By: Simon Liva l Legal > Personal Injury l December 13, 2012 lViews: 292

If a lawyer is not able to devote enough time to your case then your defense is likely to suffer. Moreover specialization in one stream or other of defense is important so that the attorney can

By: Simon Liva l Legal > Criminal Law l December 12, 2012 lViews: 429

Filing a business bankruptcy can be a complex and critical task, but you have several options. You can consult your bankruptcy attorney to know which among those options is right for you.This is a

By: Harvard McIntosh l Legal > Corporations LLC l December 11, 2012 lViews: 235

You can always check for the treatments that are covered. This is because there are some policies which do not give you claims if you meet any kind of head injury.You can always check for the

By: Simon Liva l Legal > Personal Injury l November 05, 2012 lViews: 241

In Colorado, you have many Personal Injury Lawyers to choose from. When you choose the Law Offices of Andrew C. Bubb you instantly put years of experience and legal know how in your corner. Attorney

By: Dilshad l Legal > Personal Injury l October 25, 2012 lViews: 389

If you have been charged with a crime, speak with Boulder criminal defense attorney Steven Louth immediately to protect your rights. Steven Louth is a criminal defense attorney and criminal trial

By: Dilshad l Legal > Personal Injury l October 18, 2012 lViews: 244

Women, men, or children can become victims of a sexual crime. When this happens, the victim usually blames him or herself and may not even report it. If you have or are ever a victim of a sexual

By: Peter David Wendtl Legal > Employment Lawl June 15, 2012 lViews: 213

A state employee of the Office of Vocation Rehabilitation ("State Office") turned to us in connection with their discovery of several practices of their employer that appeared to be improper if not

By: Jonathan Cerritol Legal > Employment Lawl June 05, 2012 lViews: 220

Thousands of hardworking individuals are faced with workplace accidents every year. Sometimes, it is due to their carelessness and sometimes, it is due to unsafe working conditions.

By: Jasmin Zl Legal > Employment Lawl June 04, 2012 lViews: 187

What will you do if you are wrongfully accused while at work? The thought alone of being accused of a crime is scary.

By: Latisha A Lebronl Legal > Employment Lawl June 02, 2012 lViews: 209

  Many companies require their employees to agree to written policies that clarify Intellectual Property ownership of employment-related work product. The typical form of such a written policy

By: Joseph C Gioconda, Esql Legal > Employment Lawl May 31, 2012 lViews: 268

If you believe that your employer has treated you unfairly, has unfairly dismissed you or has discriminated against you in some way, you may be in the process of hiring an employment law lawyer to

By: Manik Pahwal Legal > Employment Lawl May 30, 2012 lViews: 184

A report issued by the Office of National Statistics has found that almost half of British workers are too scared to launch complaints procedures against their employers, for fear of being made

By: Nick Jervisl Legall February 25, 2012 lViews: 122

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus