Repeal of the Default Retirement Age

DefaultRetirementAge1The Regulations repealing the Default Retirement Age (DRA) came into effect on 6th April 2011.

Between that date and 1st October, only people who were notified before 6th April, and whose retirement date is before 1st October, can be compulsorily retired using the DRA. After 1st October, employers will not be able to use the DRA to compulsorily retire employees.

Although the Government is removing the DRA, it will still be possible for individual employers to operate a compulsory retirement age, provided that they can objectively justify it. Examples could include air traffic controllers and police officers.

Advises Jane Moorman, an Employment Solicitor at Howard Kennedy:

“An employer may have an Employers Justified Retirement Age (EJRA) as a reason for dismissal. However, they will need objectively to justify this policy.

“While an EJRA may be justified in certain physically demanding jobs, for most jobs it will be difficult to justify such an approach simply because an employee has reached a particular age.

“Even in physically demanding work, employers are likely to need to carry out an assessment before in fact retiring staff.”

Explains Jayn Bond, Head of HR at Workplace Law:

“People can no longer assume that they’re going to have a turnover of employees because of retirement age. If they have issues with people’s performance because of sickness absence or how they behave at work employers will just need to plan, think ahead and deal with issues as they arise and not wait for someone to retire.”

Further advice
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have launched a Managing Age guide which aims to help address the age-related challenges facing employers.

www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/guides/managing-age-new-edition-2011.aspx

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