Labour Research February 2011

Equality news


After some delay, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has confirmed that it will be phasing out the default retirement age (DRA) between 6 April and 1 October 2011.

From the 6 April, businesses will no longer be able to make employees stop work on the basis of existing default retirement age procedures and any notice issued before this date can only run up to 1 October. After this phasing-out period no employees will be able to be retired by the employers without their consent.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “This will stop employers from dismissing people on an arbitrary basis. Employees should be judged on their ability to do the job, not their age.”

Although the government is removing the DRA, it will still be possible for some employers to operate a compulsory retirement age, provided that they can objectively justify it — this could be in areas such as air traffic control.