Government to amend draft Regulations for removal of default retirement age

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has confirmed that it is amending details on age limits in the draft Regulations for the removal of the default retirement age (DRA).

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BIS has confirmed that a section of the legislation will be updated to clarify that employers can retire employees who reach the age of 65, or the employer’s normal retirement age if it is higher, at any time on or before 30 September 2011.

Nicola Johnston, employment lawyer at Pinsent Masons, explains the ongoing confusion surrounding the phasing out of the default retirement age.

Employers wishing to retire these employees will need to notify them on or before 5 April 2011 using the statutory retirement procedure.

As reported by Personnel Today last month, the previous version of the legislation meant that, while it would still possible to force through the retirement of someone who reached the age of 65 between 6 April and 30 September 2011, it would not be safe to retire someone who became 65 before 6 April.

This is not the first confusion generated around the Regulations, which are due to come in next month. In February 2011, Acas changed its guidance on the notice period that employers have to provide under the transitional arrangements.

Previously, the guidance stated that: “From 1 October 2011 no employee can be compulsorily retired by an employer because they have reached the age of 65 unless that retirement can be objectively justified.”

However, the update clarified that the last date on which an employee can be given notice of compulsory retirement under the DRA is 5 April 2011, with a minimum notice period of six months and a maximum of 12 months. 

The UK legislation website is expected to be updated with the retirement age amendment in the next 48 hours.

Further detail on the amendments are available on XpertHR.

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