Not many people realise you can still compulsorily retire someone at 65. Before you can though, you have to adopt some stupid procedure where you give them:
- 6 months’ notice;
- Invite them to come to a meeting at which they can ask to work longer (which you can just refuse because you hate them);
- When they take offence, offer them an appeal (which you can find against them, because you hate them).
All the usual stuff about being accompaniedÂ by trade union whatsits and so on applies as usual. What’s daft is if you don’t go through the rigmarole of all the meetings then the dismissal’s unfair, but at no point do you have to make a decision that’s at all reasonable. Sample meeting:
Old man: But I need my wages to live, please let me continue to work… I’ve worked here twenty years… Director: No, I’m sorry, I’m confirming your retirement. Old man: But why? In god’s name why?! Director: I’m sick of the way you slurp your tea. Old man: That’s ridiculous, I appeal! Â <the next week> Managing Director: Sorry Old Man, your appeal is unsuccessful. Old Man: But why? Managing Director: Because I just feel like being a complete bastard today.
The madness of it all is that this dismissal is completely fair, yet the law requires the company to waste the Old Man’s time, and give him false hope, by putting him through a procedure. It’s this sort of tick-box law that doesn’t do anyone any good.
Â Anyway, the reason for the post was that the Employment Tribunals have now ordered a stay on any cases which claim that a retirement dismissal is unfair. Unlucky retirees will now have to wait until the European Court of Justice decide if the UK is allowed to have a compulsory retirement age at all. More news on this in about a year’s time.