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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48788
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been employed in my present post years. Last

Customer Question

I have been employed in my present post for 8 years. Last year I was asked by my employer to indicate in writing when I would wish to retire. I wrote a letter that in 2016 I would consider my options for retirement and give due notice but that it was likely
that I would retire at the end of 2016. This month, November 2015, my employer advertised by post stating that I would be retiring in July 2016. I stated that I had not resigned. My employer has told me that he intends to appoint my successor by Christmas
this year and that I will leave my post in the summer of 2016. Is this legal? Does it constitute constructive or unfair dismissal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. So to clarify - there was never a formal resignation submitted by you, just an indication that you may do it in the future?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Correct - I have never resigned in writing or verbally
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
May I ask how old you are please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm 67
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Retiring an employee because they have reached the retirement age of 65, or any other age for that matter, is now unlawful. The Default Retirement Age was abolished in April 2011 and since then employers have been unable to forcefully retire employees due to their age. So whilst employers can no longer regard 65 as the "safe" age at which to retire employees, they will instead have to show objective justification for dismissing by reason of retirement. Whether employers keep fixed retirement ages or decide when to retire people on a case-by-case basis, they will have to objectively justify the decision to retire. This will require identifying a legitimate aim being pursued and showing that the means used to pursue it are proportionate. So there is still a potentially lawful way for an employer to force you to leave by citing ‘retirement’, even if you had not indicated you definitely want to retire or submitted your resignation. However, to do so the employer must be able to objectively justify their decision. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you including a list of specific factors which can amount to objective justification, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Did you want to discuss this over the phone or just on here?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Whichever is easier - though having script is useful for reference
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
ok we can continue on here no problem. So as mentioned objective justification is one possible option for the employer to try and argue that forcing you to retire was lawful. What reasons would qualify as being objectively legitimate will very much depend on the circumstances and will evolve through case law with time, but as an example they could include:· Workforce planning· Promoting the recruitment and retention of younger employees· Contributing to a pleasant workplace and protecting the dignity of older workforce by not requiring them to undergo performance management procedures· Protecting against incompetence· Ensuring a high quality of service· Having an age-balanced workforce, as this can promote the exchange of experience and innovation, and therefore contribute to the quality of the work· Avoiding adverse impact on pension and benefits, that is, the increased cost of extending such benefits to older workers So whilst dismissal purely because an employee has reached a certain age is no longer possible, there are still age-related reasons which an employer can use to dismiss an employee, provided they are considered reasonable in the circumstances. However, you should ask the employer to be able to justify exactly why they believe it is time for you to retire and if they are just going by your initial proposals, then that would not be enough and you could indeed consider a claim for unfair dismissal and/or age discrimination. Hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much - lucid and comprehensive - much appreciated, indeed!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome, all the best!