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Currently there is no legal retirement age meaning that employees can choose when they stop working. 

Employers were once permitted to force their employees to retire at the age of 65, which was at the time known as the default retirement age. This conduct was scrapped in April 2011, following a campaign undertaken by Age UK. 

In essence what this really means is that an employee is able to work, should they choose to after the age of 65.  It was considered that many employees did not hold the desire to stop working just because they had reached a certain age.  

It is now increasingly difficult for an employer to ask an employee to retire from their employment unless they can establish that it can be objectively justified. 

In order to establish objective justification the employer must be able to demonstrate:

Legitimate Aim

This is simply an objective that is set such as encouraging and developing the younger workforce.

Proportionate Means

This is effectively the employer’s justification of achieving the legitimate aim, such as it would be a requirement to set a compulsory retirement age to allow diversity.

It may still be common in roles which require a certain level of mental or physical ability to require a compulsory retirement age so long as the tests above are met. 

Your employer may ask you about your potential retirement plans or indeed how long you propose to continue working.  In such a situation you are not obliged to inform your employer if you do not wish to engage in such communications. 

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an 'employee' if the reason is connected to or because of a compulsory retirement age that cannot be legitimately justified. 

Examples of this could be:

  • refused employment and/or a promotion on the basis of your age
  • being forced to leave your role simply because you have reached 65
  • being demoted from your role because you have reached 65
  • being forced to vary your terms of employment (if without justification) because you have reached 65.

With offices in Leicester, Wigston and Market Harborough we are willing to discuss any legal issues surrounding your retirement with you. Lawson-West are a national provider of expert employment law advice and welcome a free discussion with you regarding you circumstances and potential claim.  If you believe you have a situation where you require free legal advice, please contact us on telephone 01162121000 or 01858445480.


Coronavirus: It is ‘Business As Usual’ at Lawson-West

We’ve made plans to continue to deliver the best service during the pandemic and we’re committed to helping clients over the coming weeks and months.

From time to time, we will be posting updates about our business operational response to the implications of the virus on our website and on our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For now, you can be assured that we are ‘Open for Business’ and here to help you with your legal needs. You can email your regular contact at Lawson-West and we will respond, alternatively, email or continue to browse our website at for more information about our services and how to contact us.

We are driven by our commitment to help others.
We are here. For you.

Lawson-West Directors

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