Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Mandatory Retirement Age

15 May 2012 #Employment


The case of Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes illustrated that the test for justifying direct age discrimination is different and narrower than the general test for justifying indirect discrimination.

In this case a partner from the Respondent firm of solicitors was forced to retire at the age of 65.  It was found that the compulsory retirement age contained in the firm’s deed of partnership was directly discriminatory.  However this could be justified as it was founded on legitimate social policy aims. 

The case was remitted back to the employment tribunal for consideration of whether the employer in choosing the specific age of 65, was a proportionate means of achieving those aims in relation to the particular business.

The test for justifying direct age discrimination is that employers must consider and/or identify:

  • The aim
  • The aim is potentially legitimate in that it is capable of being a `public interest` aim, as specified in the Framework Directive (2000/78/EC) [59].  Public interest aims are distinguishable from individual business aims, such as cost reduction or improving competitiveness
  • The aim is also legitimate in the particular circumstances of the case
  • The means chosen to achieve the aim must be both appropriate and necessary
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 employmentunit@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.

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