It use to be the case that when an Employee reached the national retirement age he or she could be forced to retire. This is no longer the case. Since April 2011 it has become unlawful to force someone out of work simply because they have reached a particular age. This now falls foul of rules relating to Age Discrimination contained in the Equality Act 2010.
There are of course exceptions to this but any dismissal will have to be objectively justified as being a reasonable way of achieving a legitimate aim. A recent case allowed, for example,a senior partner in a solicitors firm to be ousted to allow succession planning within the business.
Put simply, employers can no longer simply assume that older employees will leave at 65. Before taking steps in relation to any dismissal. (or if you are about to be dismissed) contact our employment department for legal advice.
John Porter – Partner and specialist employment lawyer
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