The legal retirement age of 65 was again challenged in court yesterday by a solicitor who was forced to retire on the grounds of age.
Leslie Seldon, former senior partner at Kent-based law firm Clarkson, Wright and Jakes, is challenging an Employment Tribunal ruling that he was not discriminated against when he was made to retire when he turned 65.
His lawyer, Richard O’Dair, told the Employment Appeal Tribunal that it was Seldon’s ‘fundamental’ right not to be discriminated against because of his age.
The outcome of both cases could radically change employment practices in the UK, and will decide many more Tribunal claims from workers forced to retire at 65 that had been stayed pending the outcome of the Heyday case.
According to a report in Times Online O’Dair told the court: “The prima facie right not to be discriminated against on the ground of age is no less fundamental than the equivalent rights on the grounds of race or sex.
“Given the fundamental nature of the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of age, any exception to the right on the justification defence should be strictly construed.”
Seldon’s appeal is being backed by Age Concern and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. A judgment is expected by the end of the summer.