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It's Confirmed: Default Retirement Age is Scrapped

In a move aimed at aligning UK employment legislation with demographic change, and following consultation with UK businesses, the Government today confirmed that the Default Retirement Age (DRA), currently set at 65, is to be phased out between 6 April and 1 October 2011.

In addition to giving individuals the freedom to choose to work longer if they want to, the Government also believe it will provide a much needed boost to the UK economy. 

Employment Relations Minister Edward Davey said:  “Retirement should be a matter of choice rather than compulsion – people deserve the freedom to work for as long as they want and are able to do so.  Older workers can play an incredibly important role in the workplace and it is high time we ended this outdated form of age discrimination."

Default Retirement Age Scrapped - How Will this Work?

From 6 April 2011, employers will not be able to issue any notifications for compulsory retirement using the DRA procedure. Between 6 April and 1 October, only people who were notified before 6 April, and whose retirement date is before 1 October can be compulsorily retired using the DRA. After 1 October, employers will not be able to use the DRA to compulsorily retire employees.

The last day employees can be compulsorily retired using the DRA is 30 September 2011, so the last day to provide 6 months' notice required by the DRA provisions is therefore the 30 March 2011.

What Should I do Now?

1.  Communicate - make you staff aware of the change and how it may affect them

2.  Review policies, practices and procedures and make amendments as necessary being sure to document your steps when you work through each process

3.  When executing policies, ensure you adopt a fair and equal approach with all employees

4.  Consider your management team and provide additional staff training, as required

5.  Seek professional advice and support - Commission an Audit to get a full and accurate understanding of your level of exposure

And Remember......

It will still be possible for individual employers to operate a compulsory retirement age, provided that they can objectively justify it. Examples could include air traffic controllers and police officers.

Want More Help?

Still unsure and concerned you may be exposed or need help to amend your existing policies?  Call us today on 0800 612 4772 or Contact Us via our Website and we'll be happy to help you implement the changes.

Have Your Say

The Coalition appear to be on a mission to deregulate and this latest measure is just one in a list which includes  raising the state pension age to 66 faster than currently scheduled and re-establishing the link between earnings and the basic state pension.

What do you think?  Are these changes good or bad for Employers?


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