65 -year-old’s age discrimination case struck out, despite application to await Heyday test case verdict

A woman claiming unlawful age discrimination because she was forced to retire at 65 has been denied the right to have her case kept on file until the outcome of the Heyday legal challenge.

The Southampton employment tribunal struck out Mrs A Johns’ claim against Solent SD for unfair dismissal and unlawful age discrimination.

This will come as a relief for employers, after warnings that any employees forced to retire could lodge legal challenges pending Heyday’s case at the European Court of Justice.

Susanna Gilmartin, partner at Vizards Wyeth, which represented respondent Solent SD in the case, said: “The tribunal’s decision is a positive one for employers who, despite acting in line with the legislation and complying with their legal obligations, are being sued by disgruntled employees who are unhappy with the government’s decision to impose a 65-year statutory retirement age.”

Heyday, a branch of Age Concern, claims that the UK government’s mandatory retirement age breaches age discrimination laws.

A judgement is not expected until early 2009, and Heyday has encouraged employees to lodge claims in advance.

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