More than 250 age discrimination claims could be revived in the wake of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) hearing on the challenge to the UK retirement age on 2 July.
According to the Employment Tribunals Service, about 260 cases across England, Scotland and Wales are currently awaiting a ruling on whether forcing workers to retire at 65 is unlawful.
A favourable judgment for Age Concern spin-off Heyday in its case against the UK government could open the doors for all 260 ‘stayed’ cases – and thousands of fresh ones – to be heard in domestic employment tribunals.
Nony Ardill, legal policy adviser at Age Concern, said the charity would be advising people to bring claims if it was successful. Heyday claims that up to 25,000 people are retired against their will each year.
“It would be wrong to fail to advise people that they had a prospect of success,” she told Personnel Today.
Ardill called on the ECJ to finally bring clarity to the muddled issue of whether forced retirement breached the 2000 EU Framework Directive.
“We are cautiously optimistic of winning the case. As a charity we do not litigate lightly,” she added.
The European advocate-general’s opinion will be followed by a decision before the end of 2008.
The Heyday case will then return to the UK High Court, where a final verdict is expected by the middle of next year.
In the is clip Pinsent Masons employment lawyer Jon Fisher explains the risks employers are facing.