In light of the announcement that Prince Philip is stepping down from royal duties in the Autumn, here are 5 things you need to know about retirement:
- It was lawful before 6 April 2011 to refuse to recruit someone who had reached 65 or the normal retirement age if higher, or who was within six months of it. This is no longer the case.
- A default retirement age was abolished on 6/4/2011 and compulsory retirement is prima facie direct age discrimination. Unlike other forms of direct discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), direct age discrimination can be objectively justified if it is "a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".
- In terms of workforce planning, there is no easy point in time at which to discuss with an older worker their future plans and when they might wish to cease working in the business. This anxiety may lead to discussions about when someone might retire (consider job-sharing or flexible/part time working) not taking place at all. Some employers may fear that initiating such a conversation could be perceived as discriminatory in itself. However, it is important that employers keep the lines of communication open with older workers about their future plans and have effective procedures in place to deal with any health or performance issues that may arise.
- To assist in making the transition to retirement Acas suggest employers consider offering pre-retirement training to employees to help them prepare for both the financial and personal changes retirement will bring and make the transition as smooth as possible.
- Keeping in touch with retired workers gives them a link to old friends and colleagues, while affording employers a chance to offer casual, temporary or consultancy work, or perhaps find help to cover staff absence, holidays or busy periods or getting staff to coach or mentor younger employees to pass on their expertise and improve continuity.
If you would like to discuss any employment issues that you are currently experiencing in the workplace, please contact us on 0113 3229222.