The group behind Wednesday’s (6 December) legal challenge to the mandatory retirement age is confident of success, insisting it has “a very strong case”.
All eyes will be on the High Court when Heyday, a membership organisation affiliated to the Age Concern charity, takes on the government over aspects of the age discrimination regulations.
Heyday has won the right to a judicial review of the decision to permit a mandatory retirement age of 65.
The organisation believes this contravenes the European Equal Treatment Directive by leaving individuals without the right or choice to work.
In an unusual move, the judicial review of the age regulations will be decided via a ‘rolled-up’ hearing.
This means that a judge will consider the application for permission for the case to proceed to an oral hearing which, if given the green light, will lead straight into a full trial.
Nony Ardill, legal policy adviser at Heyday, said: “We can’t predict what the court’s view will be, but we have a very strong case.
“Allowing employers to force people to retire is a serious departure from a directive not permitting age discrimination.”
The Department of Trade and Industry insists the government has no case to answer. Employment relations minister Jim Fitzpatrick told Personnel Today last month the government was taking “a common sense approach”.
He said the mandatory retirement age would act as a “comfort blanket” for employers during the period of culture change triggered by the regulations.
For coverage of the case, see the news section in next week’s issue of Personnel Today and on personneltoday.com