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Employers can no longer rely on default retirement age

6 April 2011

Employers will no longer be able to tell staff reaching the default retirement age of 65 that they are automatically being retired.

From today, only workers who have already been notified of retirement dates under the traditional procedures can be retired under the DRA (see Solicitors Journal 155/2, 18 January 2011).

Between 6 April and 1 October this year people who were notified before today can be compulsorily retired.

From then on employers will have to justify having a compulsory retirement age as a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.

The coalition government agreed to abolish the default retirement age in August 2010, after a review started by its predecessor.

Today also sees the implementation of further measures from the Equality Act 2010.

Employers will be able to take “positive action” where people with a “protected characteristic” (such as ethnicity) are under represented in an organisation, by giving them priority where two candidates for a job are equally qualified.

Public sector organisations are under a new ‘general equality duty’ to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity, extending existing obligations relating to race, sex and disability to age, gender reassignment, pregnancy, religion or belief.

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Legal Aid Discrimination Costs