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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49857
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have an employee that is due to retire in October 2016. He

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I have an employee that is due to retire in October 2016.
He has requested to stay on post retirement full time.
What are my legal obligations to satisfying his request?
Do I have to maintain his employment, or can I legally end it at the point he reaches retirement age?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How come he is due to retire - is it simply because he has reached retirement age?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That is Correct.

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 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. You need to be able to justify these to ensure that you are not found guilty of age discrimination. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the possible grounds you can use to retire someone, 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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Thank you. 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 If you are going to rely on any of these you must be able to show that they are relevant to your specific circumstances.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok that explains our basic position.

The role itself is a physical role (Lifting and carrying loads), and whilst there has in the past been excessive periods of absence due to work/health related issues the current situation is acceptable.

If excessive absence becomes an issue in future would that be grounds for dismissal?

Eventually yes, but again you should not just go straight for dismissal, you need to consider if you can help the employee, for example offer lighter duties or a other role so dismissal should always be viewed as a last resort.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok that's clear, many thanks.

You are welcome, all the best