Oxford University had a so-called Employer Justified Retirement Age which required all academics and researchers to retire on the 30 September before their 68th birthday, unless they made a successful application for an extension. The ET ruled that forcing Professor Ewart to retire under the policy was unfair dismissal and age discrimination.
Forced retirement is unlawful. The exemption which allowed enforced retirement of employees at the age of 65 or over (in Regulation 30 of the Age Regulations 2006) has been abolished by the Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011. It is now unlawful to require a person to retire by reason of age unless the requirement can be justified as a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate aim – Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.
If your employer asks you to retire because you have reached the age of 65 or over it is an unfair dismissal unless certain conditions are fulfilled. Your employer must give you 6 months’ written notice including information about your right to request that your employer defers your retirement. If the conditions are not fulfilled then even though retirement takes place on or after you have reached the age of 65 your employer would be liable to a penalty (generally a minimum of 4 weeks pay) and the enforced retirement could be an unfair dismissal. You could also have a discrimination claim.
See also – Age Discrimination
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