Call us for a free Consultation on: 0333 772 0611

Can an employee be made to retire from work? Ask the expert

Paul Jackson

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Can an employer force someone to retire?

Employers used to be able to force workers to retire at 65, this was known as the Default Retirement Age, however, this law was scrapped in April 2011.

This means that employees can keep working beyond 65 if they want to or need to and are capable of undertaking.

There are exceptions in some situations where an employer can force employees to retire by law, but they must give a good reason why. Employees may be asked to retire early if the job:

• requires employees to have a certain level of mental or physical abilities, or
• has an age limit set by another law

If employees are forced to retire, the employer must follow a fair procedure, maybe even look at alternatives and then give the employee enough notice.

Employers still have the right to make redundancies and dismiss employees if they are underperforming, but these decisions should be based on objective criteria and not because of the individual's age.

Do employees still get a State Pension if they continue working?

The ‘State Pension age’ is the earliest age an individual can claim the State Pension.

As the individual approaches State Pension age, they will be given
a choice of whether to claim or delay their State Pension payments. The individual can still claim their State Pension while they are working but they may wish to defer it, which can have some financial benefits.

Any private or workplace pension scheme may have an earlier age where they can start receiving their pension (usually 55), even while they are still working. Schemes vary so ask the fund or employer about how your pension is affected if you change your work arrangements or continue working beyond State Pension age.

Expert employment solicitor Paul Jackson answers some questions and explains the rules around retirement.

Video Transcript

Can an employee be made to retire from work?
There are instances and we all know this where a worker an employee is not doing their job so well, maybe even doing it badly and there are instances where perhaps some of us comes to the end of our working life in a particular job and where perhaps we even compromise that the safety and well-being of those around us. In an instance like that an employer can genuinely say I'm thinking typically might be an older worker might not but might be this person now does need to do something different because they're not performing well and that would be a capability issue, that would justify perhaps a person now but again it will be based on the individual it should not be based, on oh they're over a certain number in terms of their age based on this individual happens not to be performing so well and there it can be justified.

Can employers justify putting a retirement age in their terms and conditions?

For the last few years, it's been the law that you generally don't have a compulsory retirement age it needs to be down to what the individual can do so the short answer the simple answer to that is no.

Can an employer retire an older employee whose performance has deteriorated but who is reluctant to retire voluntarily?

Certainly when it becomes a capability issue person really is managing to do the job well then it is possible to ask that person to leave that job but to do it on grounds of retirement is possibly the wrong way to do it it's more a capability issue and it's down to doing it hopefully gently and reasonably by the employer but if there are objective reasons like that, of course, it is right that something should be done as fairly and gently as possible looking at alternatives.

About the Expert

Paul read law at Cambridge and trained at Clifford Chance LLP in the City of London. He specialises in employment law, commercial law and civil litigation including advocacy in employment tribunals and the civil courts as a Higher Rights Advocate.

Before working for more than ten years in the City of London as a solicitor he worked in commerce including publishing and corporate finance.

Tags: 
Retire

Were here to help when you need it.

   "A reputation built on Success"

We offer support on a wide range of employment law and HR issues. Our dedicated adviser are here to answer your questions and help you with your concerns. Your call is free and with no oblgation. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

Call us today on 0333 772 0611 or request a call back

Minimize close

Request a call back

forum

Testimonials

5

Quick response, great service and advice. Patiently listened to my case and was able offer valuable advice and reassurance. Would go to them again should need be.

Laura

5

Brilliant advice from Castle Associates in regards to my employment matter I now feel confident to appeal my dismissal. Thanks again.

Niketa

5

Very helpful, very clear and well constructed advice - really cant complain about the help I got :)

Matt

5

Spoke to an adviser who was the fourth person I had spoken to that morning. She was the only legal adviser that gave me truly free detailed advice regarding my choices and what I could do to mitigate my circumstances.

Faye

5

Heartfelt thank you for your excellent advice and time you took to explain in details all the options available in regards to my case.

David

5

Outstanding service from the first meeting to the conclusion. I would highly recommend this service and especially the person who represented me. He was highly professional, honest and supportive throughout this whole process.

Milovan

5

Received a very prompt and professional call back with the advice I was looking for.

Alan

5

The adviser was incredibly helpful to me in that he was understanding, compassionate and gave me very good advice. I would recommend this company.

Amir

5

Excellent advice with a genuine concern for me and my problem. Never felt like they just wanted to get money out of me!

Jamie

5

I have been very worried about an Employment case query. I spoke to a member of their team for an initial consultation. She gave me plenty of information and reassurances in going forward, was compassionate, understanding and put my fears at rest.

Cariad