The default retirement age (DRA) of 65 may be scrapped if the Heyday case – due to appear in High Court on 16 July – is successful.
In this short video, Susie Munro, employment editor at Personnel Today's sister title Xpert HR, warns pressure is building up on the government to 'ditch the DRA' even if the long-running Heyday case is unsuccessful.
Munro also discusses what happens next and what employers need to do if the Heyday case is successful at the High Court:
In this short clip, Munro discusses the background behind the Heyday case, why it is so important for employers, and what the government will have to do to keep the default retirement age.
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.