What to do in October 2011
With the new proposals for the UK government to scrap the default retirement age of 65 in October 2011, it is clear that many employers are heading towards this date with an element of uncertainty.
Current UK legislation state:
* employers can force employees to retire at 65 as long as a meeting is held at least 6months prior to their 65th birthday and
* that the employee is provided with to right to request to continue working which the employer must consider, but not necessarily agree to
However, with the new proposal, employers will not be able to issue forced retirement notices or dismiss staff just for being 65!
What employers need to consider is, come October 2011 (or April 2011 when the last of the retirement notices should be issued) there will need to be a stringent process to prove that an individual at 65 is less capable of carrying out the role than an individual who is under 65.
So employers need to avoid making assumptions on ability. Otherwise, they may find themselves with age discrimination claims and employment tribunals to face.
Until October 2011, companies should continue to manage the retirement process as they currently are, but come October 2011, any grounds for dismissal must be treated in the same way for every employee regardless of their age.
Written by Hannah Baker-Saadat
Hannah is an HR professional within the private health sector. She is CIPD qualified with a Masters in Personnel Development. She has 4 years of generalist HR experience. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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