Judicial review of age laws’ failure to protect work rights of over-65s to begin in December

The government faces a judicial review in early December that will challenge its decision to permit mandatory retirement ages under new age discrimination legislation.

Heyday, a membership organisation backed by charity Age Concern, has been notified by the High Court that its legal action against the government will receive a hearing on 6 December. 

In an unusual move, a judge has ordered that the judicial review of the age regulations should be decided via a ‘rolled up’ hearing. This means that a judge will consider the application for permission for the case to proceed in an oral hearing which, if given the green light, will lead straight into a full trial.

Heyday is challenging the government line on employment rights for people over the age of 65. The High Court will scrutinise the legality of the regulations, which Heyday believes contravene the European Equal Treatment Directive by leaving people over 65 without the right or choice to work. 

Earlier this year Heyday conducted a survey of modern retirement, which asked more than 56,000 people aged in their 50s and 60s their views about a range of topics, including mandatory retirement ages. 

Nearly 80% of respondents said the government was wrong to force people to retire at a particular age, yet one in four (23%) said they had already been forced into retirement by their employer. 

Ailsa Ogilvie, director of Heyday, said: “It is high time for the government to adopt some good old-fashioned common sense and scrap forced retirement. Right now the government is sending a simple message to over-65s – that they are not worth having in the workplace. It needs to think again.

“This legal action is not something we have entered into lightly. We hope the court will accept that the legislation flies in the face of European anti-discrimination laws.”

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