Can you force someone to retire?

Oxford University Retirement Policy facing fresh challenge

A second Oxford University professor this year is challenging the institution over its retirement policy, explaining that his research is too important for him to stop working.

Can you force someone to retire? Gita Patel, solicitor in the employment team at SA Law comments in Personnel Today:

“It is unlawful to force an employee to retire unless this can be objectively justified and be shown that a compulsory retirement policy is a proportionate mean of achieving a legitimate aim. It is often extremely difficult for employers to show objective justification, however legitimate aims such as promoting access to employment for younger people and sharing employment opportunities fairly between generations have been deemed in the past to be lawful by the courts. It is likely to be same here.

Although there is no duty for an employer to consider requests to work beyond retirement, academics at the university are permitted to apply to work beyond the compulsory retirement age in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Professor Ewart’s ground-breaking projects on solving climate change and environmental pollution could fall into this exception. However, if the university refuse an application made by Professor Ewart, without giving it genuine consideration, this could be deemed to be unfair and discriminatory. The university will need to proceed with caution to any requests made, to ensure that they do not regularly deviate from their retirement policy otherwise this could undermine their business case, deeming the overall policy to be unlawful.”

Read the full article about retirement policy in Personnel Today here. 

CONTACT GITA

If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or an Employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Gita Patel on 01727 798049

Read the latest Employment Views & Insights
They seek to understand their clients and advise accordingly to achieve the outcomes that they require for their business needs.
Chambers and Partners
SA Law Work Life red mug and glasses
SA Law Work Life red mug and glasses
Views & Insights
The Impact of Failure to Follow the Correct Procedure When Making Redundancies

Stephanie Clarke explains the legal consequences employers face if they fail to follow the correct redundancy procedures.

Read More
Photo of a red arrow SA Law
Views & Insights
Google: Parent Firm Alphabet Announces Worldwide Redundancies

Chris Cook comments on the recent redundancies made by Alphabet, a parent firm of Google.

Read More
Education Open Book SA Law
Views & Insights
Workers Who Breach Proposed Anti-Strike Law En Masse 'Unlikely' to Face Sackings

Gita Patel discusses the implications of the Government's proposed plans on anti-strike legislation.

Read More
Phone Box with Man in a Bowler Hat
As there is so much expertise on offer from SA Law they can provide a legal expert on all areas so that it can be handled under one roof.
Legal 500
SA Law Red arrow neon light image
Views & Insights
Which Way To Go With WFH

In a recently published article, James Cresswell discusses flexible working and what it includes after James Dyson criticises the Government’s plans to…

Read More
SA Law Employment Laptop
Views & Insights
Staff Monitoring: Ensure You Consult Before Imposing a System

It’s becoming more common that employers want to avoid a ‘Big Brother’ management style when it comes to monitoring staff, so what’s the best way to do…

Read More
Education Open Book SA Law
Views & Insights
Changes to Employment Law

What do they mean for your business?

Read More
SA Law - Lightbulbs image with fillament
Views & Insights
Rolling Blackouts: What Does HR Need to Know?

What does HR need to know?

Read More
They are knowledgeable, with a commercial mindset, but also down to earth and friendly so it is easy to be very honest with them.
Chambers and Partners

© SA LAW 2023

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.