Default Retirement Age to be abolished

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Government has confirmed (13.1.11) that the Default Retirement Age will be abolished in April this year. From 6 April 2011 employers will no longer be able to give six months’ advance notice of their intention to retire employees when they reach the age of 65.

Between 6 April and 1 October, only those people who were told before 6 April, and who are due to retire before 1 October, can be compulsorily retired using DRA. From October onwards, employers will not be able to use DRA to force staff to retire.

Employers will, however, will still be able to operate a compulsory retirement age “provided that they can objectively justify it” and they will still be able to use the Employment Rights Act 1996 to dismiss someone fairly, provided they go through the proper processes.

According to Ed Davey, Employment Relations Minister, two-thirds of firms at the moment do not operate a fixed retirement age and “the evidence that performance and effectiveness decline after 65 is just not there.”

A checklist and first briefing for HR managers on Managing without Fixed Retirement can be downloaded from the TAEN website at  www.taen.org.uk