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Consultation on plans to phase out the default retirement age begins!

29 July 2010 #Employment

The current default retirement age (DRA) of 65 has been under the spotlight since the introduction of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations back in 2006 and has not been without its critics. 

Today marks the start of a period of consultation by the Government into its proposals to phase out the DRA, which include plans for a six-month transitional period. 

So what do the Government`s plans entail.....?

  • From 6 April 2011. Employers will not be able to issue any notifications for compulsory retirement using the DRA procedure.
  • Between 6 April 2011 and 1 October 2011, only people who were notified before 6 April, and whose retirement date is before 1 October can be compulsorily retired using the DRA.
  • After 1 October, employers will not be able to use the DRA to compulsorily retire employees; if they wish to use retirement ages they will have to be able to demonstrate these are objectively justified.

The consultation asks questions on the specific proposals, and the support individuals and businesses might need to manage in the absence of the DRA.  Edward Davey, Employment Relations Minister, has said that the Government is "committed to ensuring employers are given help and support in adapting to the change in Regulations."

Whilst Rachel Krys, campaign director at the Employers Forum on Age said "this is an incredible leap forward in employment practices and great news for individuals", will the plan to axe the DRA be welcomed by all?  Business leaders have warned that employers will find it difficult to plan for the future if they do not know when staff will step down.

Employers, unions and other groups are being urged by the Government to have their say.  Consultation on the proposals closes on 21 October 2010. 

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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