Is Forced Retirement Legal?

The retirement age in the UK was always set at 65 years when it was compulsory for an employee to retire or when an employee could legally be forced into retirement by their employer. A six-month warning before the age of retirement was reached was generally provided to employees notifying them that retirement was around the corner. If an employee is not given certain tasks because of age then they may have a case for discrimination against their employer.

However, this legislation has recently been changed in two major ways.

Firstly, 65 years is no longer the compulsory age for retirement. Employers can also no longer force an employee to retire. However, if an employer can prove that an employee can no longer fulfil their job description or tasks due to health issues or their physical condition, they can still legally be retired at the age of 65 years. Employers may, however, offer lighter work or more flexible working hours before simply retiring an employee in the event that they are no longer fit to fulfil their duties.

On the other hand, employers can offer financial incentives for employees to retire. For example, a retirement package (much like a retrenchment package), may be offered to an employee over and above their pension. However, unlike retrenchment, an employee cannot be forced to take the incentive. If the employer is found to have coerced an employee through an incentive into retirement, they can be guilty of age discrimination.

Secondly, the retirement age has also legally been raised to the age 66 years and by 2028 can be expected to reach 67 years. While this does not affect the now-banned compulsory retirement, it does affect the age at which a state pension will start being paid.

There is much debate as to whether these changes in legislation are for the overall good or bad of the working public in the long run. The fact is, however, that retirement has become a personal choice for an employee and employers no longer have very much say in the matter. Do you feel that you’ve been forced to retire? Understand your situation better by contacting us.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Specific legal advice should be sort tailored to the individual circumstances in all cases.

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For any information relating to our services please give us a call and we will be very happy to help.

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    We can be contacted 24 hours a day.
    Our Reading Head Office address is:

    Davidson House
    Forbury Square
    RG1 3EU
    0118 914 5622
    07850 952245