Employment law- Retirement

The Default Retirement Age (formerly 65) has now been phased out, and so most people can generally now work for as long as they want to.

If your employer tries to impose a compulsory retirement age, it is likely to constitute direct age discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, unless it can be “objectively justified”.

To establish objective justification, your employer will need to show that:

  • a “legitimate aim” is being pursued; and
  • the means used to pursue the legitimate aim are “proportionate”.

Legitimate aim

It is fairly easy for employers to show a legitimate aim, which can include, for example, promoting diversity and encouraging a younger workforce.

Proportionate means

It is less easy for employers to show that a compulsory retirement age is a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”, and go no further than is necessary in achieving it. This is where most employers will have difficulty.


For further advice and a free consultation, please get in contact on 020 7100 5256 and ask to speak to Philip Landau or any member of the employment team, or email us.

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