Employment Appeal Tribunal rules age discrimination claim against mandatory retirement at 65 can wait for Heyday judgment

A surge in age discrimination claims from workers forced to retire at 65 has become more likely after an appeal tribunal decision.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal reversed a ruling that prevented a woman keeping such a claim on file until the result of the Heyday legal challenge.

Sue Ashtiany, partner at law firm Nabarro, warned employers: “Please don’t think that it is safe to implement a mandatory retirement age of 65.”

In June, the Southampton Employment Tribunal struck out Mrs Johns’ claim that she was victim of unlawful age discrimination because she was forced by employer Solent SD to retire at 65.

Now Johns can wait for the European Court of Justice ruling on the Heyday case before her case is heard.

Heyday, a spin-off of charity Age Concern, claims the UK’s mandatory retirement age breaches age discrimination laws. A judgment is not expected until early 2009, but Heyday has encouraged employees to lodge claims in advance.

“The issue of retirement age has just got interesting again,” said Ashtiany.

“This decision means that we must all now await the outcome of the [Heyday court case]. In the meantime, we could get cupboards full of claims from people who don’t want to retire at 65.”

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