Age discrimination claims by retired staff to be decided on by Employment Tribunal Service president

Lawyers representing Heyday will this week ask the president of the Employment Tribunal Service to allow retired people to lodge age discrimination claims pending a European judgment.

The move comes after the Southampton employment tribunal delivered a blow to retirees by ruling that Mrs A Johns’ age claim could not be held on file until the Heyday result.

Lawyers representing the respondent, newspaper wholesaler Solent SD, in the Mrs A Johns case, said the decision would provide respite for employers facing similar claims.

But a spokeswoman for Heyday told Personnel Today: “The president of the Employment Tribunal Service has the power to make a direction that all cases can be stayed until the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision. We understand that he may be willing to do that, but is waiting to see the final version of the questions being sent by the High Court to the ECJ.”

Those questions are with the High Court now and should be sent out by the end of July, she added.

Heyday – a branch of charity Age Concern – claims that the UK government’s mandatory retirement age breaches age discrimination laws. It has long urged employees forced to retire at 65 to lodge claims in advance of the ECJ’s decision.

A decision is not expected until the end of next year at the earliest.

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