Government confirms it will abolish the default retirement age!

When it came to power, the Coalition Government made it clear that it was committed to phasing out the so-called Default Retirement Age (“DRA”) and on 13th January 2011 the Government published its response to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills’ consultation on the DRA.

It is now certain that 30th March 2011 will be the last day on which an employer can give the 6 months’ notice which is needed to ensure that enforced retirement of an employee at age 65 will not be unfair dismissal.

After 1st October 2011, employers will only be able to operate a compulsory retirement policy if it can be objectively justified.

Further changes to age discrimination legislation are also anticipated to create an exception so that employers can stop offering employees insured benefits, such as life assurance and private medical cover, beyond their normal retirement ages.

Employers will therefore need to review their policies and procedures to ensure that they are prepared for the changes in the law.

This article was written by Lara Murray a Solicitor in our Employment Department.