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
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Winter Economy Plan - What is the Job Support Scheme and how will it work?

Chris Cook examines the key points from Rishi Sunak's coronavirus winter economy plan.

Read More
SA Law Red arrow neon light image
Views & Insights
Data Protection and workplace coronavirus testing

Managing the data protection challenges of workplace coronavirus testing

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Guidance for enabling a safe “return to work”

A guide to returning to work safely for those who are unable to work from home.

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
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
BP Fuels Diversity and Inclusion Drive

Partner and Head of Employment & Data Protection Chris Cook comments in Personnel Today regarding BP's announcement of their new Diversity & Inclusion…

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Covid-19 and home-working mental health for the insurance industry

Keely comments on mental health issues faced by home-workers in the insurance industry plus duty of care and handling HR issues remotely during covid-19.

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Updates to off-payroll working in the private sector

Following the delay to the introduction of off-payroll working in the private sector, the government are introducing some amendments to the original proposals,…

Read More
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: update affecting notice periods

The Treasury has published a further Direction to provide rules that will govern the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Most of the rules in the…

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 2020

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.