Compulsory Retirement

Despite the new Age Discrimination laws, employers can still compulsorily retire their employees at (usually) age 65 so long as they follow a lengthy and mostly pointless procedure. For me, this is another example of why the laws don’t make any sense, but Age Concern more constructively thought that the compulsory retirement provisions went against the EU directive which lurks behind all equality legislation. They are probably wrong however, as similar Spanish legislation has now been declared lawful by the European Court of Justice.

Personally I think it’s daft to have a policy that age discrimination is wrong, but then retaining all the old laws that say things like:

  • You can sack people because they’re 65;
  • You pay people a different minimum wage depending how old they are;
  • Older people get higher redundancy payments;
  • You have to be a certain age to drive HGV, etc.

…and a whole host of other things. As a society we are institutionally ageist, and the current position just pretends we’re not while still requiring people to discriminate.

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