Retirement and Employment Law


By Sarah Knutsen

In the UK there was previously a Default Retirement Age set at 65. An employer would be allowed to retire an employee once they reached 65 without explanation. However, this law was phased out between 6 April and 1 October 2011.

If your employer did not notify you that you were to be retired before 6 April 2011 then the Default Retirement Age will NOT apply to you.

This means that your employer will not be able to choose at which age to retire you without proving to an Employment Tribunal that this dismissal is lawful. In most cases the retraction of the Default Retirement Age law will mean that you can choose yourself at what age you retire.

If your employer is retiring you using the Default Retirement Age law the following points must be satisfied:

1.    Your employer must have given you notice of your exact retirement date before 6 April 2011, and
2.    You must be aged 65 or over by 30 September 2011 (if your employer has a specific retirement age that is higher, this will apply here)

You do have the right to request to work past your retirement date once you have received this notice from your employer. Your employer is obligated to give your request due consideration.

Requesting to work past your retirement date under the Default Retirement Age

This request must be made more than 3 months before your retirement date and should detail whether you want to continue to work either for a set period of time, until a stated date or indefinitely.

You employer can either accept this request or invite you to discuss your request at a meeting.

Once your request has been discussed and you have presented your reasons for wanting to continue to work your employer could suggest a different retirement date/working hours, or could refuse your request. Any decision given must be given in writing.

At this meeting you have a right to be accompanied either by a co worker or a trade union representative.

You do have the right to appeal a refusal at this stage and again have the right to be accompanied at the appeal hearing. However, if your appeal is rejected, your employer does not need to give any reasons as to why, and you cannot make another appeal.

If you need more information on the scrapping of the Default Retirement Age, Caven can put you in touch with an employment solicitor who may be able to accompany you to such meetings.

If you would like to speak to an Employment law solicitor about any concerns you any have about how your employer is dealing with your retirement please call Caven on 08001 221 2299 to speak to an advisor.

Sarah Knutsen is one of Caven’s most experienced and knowledgeable telephone advisors.

08001 221 2299
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