Currently, under the Employment
Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, employers can require all staff to retire
at 65 – the default retirement age (‘DRA’) – regardless of their
circumstances and even if they don’t want to retire, so long as they follow the
1.4 million people choose to work beyond 65, however, and many more would
like to carry on working, but are prevented from doing so by their
In 2006, the National Council on Aging began a legal challenge against the
DRA, arguing it contravenes European law. This case became known as the
Heyday challenge. Last week, this challenge came to an end in the High
Court, which ruled the DRA of 65 is lawful.
In coming to this conclusion, Mr. Justice Blake said that if it “had been
adopted for the first time in 2009Ç or there had been no indication of an imminent [government] review [of the DRA] Ç I would
have concluded … that the selection of age 65 would not have been
proportionate. I wouldÇ accordinglyÇ have granted relief requiring it to be
He reasoned, however, that the DRA had to be judged as of 2006 – the date it
was implemented – and highlighted that the “preponderance of consultees” on the
legislation at that time favoured age 65.
The ruling means that more than 260 claims for age discrimination pending
before employment tribunals are now likely to be dismissed.
Andrew Lockley of Irwin Mitchell, the law firm representing the claimants, said
that if the government had not brought forward its review of the DRA it would
have lost the case:
“The judge has effectively given the government breathing space to go away
and change the rules. His comment that he cannot see how the DRA can stay
at 65 will give renewed hope to thousands of workers approaching that age.
Essentially, the government has been told to think again.”
** Additional information & advice **
You can obtain further information about age discrimination on FindLaw.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with a solicitor who specialises in employment law. You
can be matched with an employment law solicitor in your area for free
via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best
course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a
- Retirement, Age Discrimination & Unfair
- Retirement & Age Discrimination Laws In State Of Flux
- Workplace Age Discrimination Law
- UK Civil Service In Its Heyday As Mandatory Retirement
- Default Retirement Age Consultation Begins
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