Employment law- Retirement
The Default Retirement Age (formerly 65) has now been phased out, and so most people can generally now work for as long as they want to.
If your employer tries to impose a compulsory retirement age, it is likely to constitute direct age discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, unless it can be “objectively justified”.
To establish objective justification, your employer will need to show that:
- a “legitimate aim” is being pursued; and
- the means used to pursue the legitimate aim are “proportionate”.
It is fairly easy for employers to show a legitimate aim, which can include, for example, promoting diversity and encouraging a younger workforce.
It is less easy for employers to show that a compulsory retirement age is a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”, and go no further than is necessary in achieving it. This is where most employers will have difficulty.