High Court rules workers can be forced to retire at 65

| September 25, 2009 | 1 Comment
High Court rules workers can be forced to retire at 65

A High Court judge has today ruled that employers are still able to dismiss workers when they reach the age of 65.

Currently, the law means that a British worker can have their employment terminated at the age of 65 without redundancy payments - even if they do not want to retire.

Furthermore, an employer can refuse to hire anyone over the age of 65.

The decision comes after Age Concern and Help the Aged launched a court battle three years ago. The charities believe the law is in breach of the EU’s Equal Treatment at Work Directive.

Employers have welcomed the ruling but the two charities (which merged this year) will not appeal because a change in the law is expected.

The Government is to bring forward a review of the compulsory retirement age by a year to 2010 and the two charities believe that this will eventually lead to a change in the rules.

Andrew Harrop of the charities said they were disappointed by the decision as many workers aged 65 and over would like to carry on working.

Figures show that 1.4 million people work beyond state pension age and many more would if it was permitted by their employer.

Mr Harrop adds: “The need to work beyond 65 is particularly acute at a time when economic turmoil means many people have seen the value of their pensions and savings fall rapidly.”

John Wadham, legal group director for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “The number of older employees is increasing and the law should support those who wish to carry on working and making an economic contribution.

“The judge has sent out a strong signal that it is only a matter of time before the default retirement age of 65 is removed, and we will consider what action we could take next,” added Mr Wadham.

Tags: Age Concern, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Help the Aged, ,

Comments (1)

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  1. Carl Barron says:

    Priority should be given to employing the young and unemployed. Not retaining the elderly as most of this (so-called) need is seen to be just greed from my personal experiences.

    I’ve seen old men struggle into to work just to gain the maximum monies possible before retirement, yet boasting as to more and more holidays abroad, new cars, new kitchens for the Wife and a whole host of other things.

    Stop being so greedy and give the youngsters a chance.

    Signed Carl Barron founder & Chairman of agpcuk

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