Should employers provide their employees with any information about age discrimination?
How can an employer know whether or not its retirement age can be objectively justified?
Are long-service awards incompatible with the Equality Act 2010?
Where it is a company's policy to give a small gift to employees who have completed periods of service of multiples of 10 years could this be discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010?
Can an employee bring a pay discrimination claim on grounds other than sex?
Is "last in, first out" still a valid redundancy selection criterion?
Will an employer be liable to an age discrimination claim if it makes enhanced redundancy payments?
Can employers stipulate in job adverts that applications from individuals who have reached, or are within six months of reaching, retirement age will not be accepted?
Can an employer use a mandatory retirement age for workers who are not employees?
Is it permissible to increase the frequency of health screenings for employees in line with age?
Can an employer ask an employee whether or not he or she has any plans to retire?
Can an employer suggest to an employee that he or she consider reducing his or her hours in preparation for retirement?
Should an employer notify its employees that they can choose to retire?
Should an employer take into account an employee’s age when setting targets or assessing performance?
If an employer does not retain an employer justified retirement age, can it retire employees if this is justified on a case-by-case basis?
How should an employer that is no longer using a compulsory retirement age amend its policies as a result of the abolition of the default retirement age?
What procedure should an employer follow if it wants to retire an employee after the removal of the default retirement age?
To justify a compulsory retirement age the employer must be able to show that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
“Proportionate” means that:
- what the employer is doing is actually achieving its aim;
- the discriminatory effect is significantly outweighed by the importance and benefits of the legitimate aim; and
- the employer has no reasonable alternative to the action that it is taking.
An aim could be “legitimate” if it relates to, for example:
- economic factors such as the needs of and the efficiency of running a business;
- the health, welfare and safety of the individual (including protection of young people or older workers); or
- the particular training requirements of the job.
The employer must show that it is justified not only to have a compulsory retirement age, but also to set the retirement age at the particular age in question. It is likely that a compulsory retirement age will be objectively justified only in exceptional circumstances.
It will be for courts and tribunals to decide whether or not a retirement age is objectively justified, based on the facts of each individual case. Therefore, there will inevitably be uncertainty for employers as to whether or not their own retirement age is justified. This will be confirmed only if an employee challenges it at a tribunal or court. Employers should be cautious about relying on a compulsory retirement age, and should do so only where there is strong evidence for justification.
What should an employer do if an older employee requests to change his or her working pattern in preparation for retirement?
Can an employer offer a pre-retirement course to employees when they reach a certain age?
Can an employer stop providing group risk insured benefits such as life assurance or private medical cover to employees when they reach a certain age?
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