Heyday retirement age case High Court date set

The final stage in a three-year legal battle to scrap the default retirement age of 65 will begin at the High Court next month.

The Heyday case, which began in December 2006, returns to the High Court on 16 July following a European Court of Justice judgment in March. European judges confirmed the UK government will have to make the case as to why its social or employment policy objectives make the default retirement age (DRA) necessary.

The case, brought by charities Age Concern and Help the Aged, argues that the DRA introduced under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 fails to interpret an EU directive against age discrimination correctly.

Millions of people approaching retirement will be waiting anxiously for the outcome of the case to find out whether the law will protect them if they want to continue working beyond 65. Hundreds of employment tribunals are on hold until this case clarifies the law.

Support for a change in the law is strong – research by Age Concern and Help the Aged found almost nine in 10 people aged over 50 believe people should have the right to continue working past 65 if they wish, as long as they are capable of performing well in their job.

Personnel Today is supporting a campaign to force the government to scrap the DRA. You can sign our petition on the Number 10 website.

The hearing will run until 20 July, with a final judgment expected in the autumn.

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