“I don’t want to leave,” says 64-year-old Romsey Town Council manager Glyn Darby. Alas, because of his age, he says he has no choice.
Mr Darby turns 65 on Sunday and under the present statutory retirement procedure employers can force staff to retire at this age regardless of the circumstances so long as they follow the correct procedure.
In July, the government announced plans to phase out the so-called “default retirement age”, but this came too late for Mr Darby.
Speaking to the Romsey Advertiser, Mr Darby said: “It has come as a surprise to me. The council has decided to implement what can only be described as an outdated and archaic policy.
“I don’t want to leave and a lot of people are supporting me. I am annoyed that I have got to go. I consider myself too young to retire and I will be seeking employment elsewhere.”
Romsey Town Council clerk Judith Giles insisted, however, that all the correct procedures had been adhered to. “The council’s policy is to retire staff at the statutory retirement age 65,” she said. “Mr Darby was offered work on a casual basis once he retired but he declined.”
Earlier this year, in what became known as the “Heyday case”, the National Council on Aging challenged the legality of the default retirement age, arguing it contravenes European law.
High Court Justice Blake ruled the default retirement age lawful for now, but indicated the government should review and amend the rules asap.
Despite the decision in the Heyday case, Mr Darby is considering taking the council to an employment tribunal. He signed a new open-ended job share contract last November, said he was shocked at the council’s decision to get rid of him as soon as he turns 65.
“No mention was made at the time that I would not be permitted to remain in my post until October of the following year and it would have been very doubtful that I would have signed the new contract if I had known it was only for a 12-month period.”
- Angry town hall manager accuses council of ageism (Romsey Advertiser)
- Age discrimination law (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Default Retirement Age to be scrapped in 2011 (The Solicitor)
- Employment law Q&A (Community)
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