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out with retirement, in with uncertainty

18 February 2011

The Government has published draft regulations removing the default retirement age.

Those employers who were concerned about the provision of employees insured benefits, such as life assurance and private medical cover beyond 65, have been catered for with a provision that it will not be age discriminatory if an employer does not offer these benefits to employees over 65.

The retirement procedures previously in place have been completely abolished. Employers are now left almost entirely unguided as to how they can fairly retire an employee, if at all. The ACAS guidance looks at the issue of an employee who is not performing well at age 65. Their suggested options of either a ‘work place discussion’ involving asking about the employee’s retirement plans or dismissing on the grounds of capability, are not satisfactory. For those who are brave enough to rely on the ‘Employer Justified Retirement Age’, ACAS’s assurance that guidance will soon be provided because ‘case-law will develop’ is not particularly helpful.

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Is it reasonable to dismiss an employee without any prior procedure being followed as a result of a breakdown in relations?

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld the Employment Tribunal’s (ET) finding that a dismissal may be fair despite no prior procedure being followed.

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Furloughed employees entitled to full pay for redundancy purposes

The government has brought in new legislation to ensure that any employees who have been furloughed will have their statutory redundancy pay calculated based on their full-time wages as opposed their furloughed pay in the event that they are made redundant.

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Return to work – all change or more of the same?

The Government has announced that its workplace guidance will change with effect from 1 August and its “work from home” message will be removed.

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Will there be a return of employment tribunal fees?

The Government is reportedly considering the reinstatement of tribunal fees in respect of employment claims.

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