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Can work refuse or would it be ageist?

(4 Posts)
MeredithLogue Thu 20-Apr-17 17:13:01

If you are 70 plus and have to signna document annually to state you want to work another year, can work refuse to accept or can you carry on ad infenitum?

daisychain01 Fri 21-Apr-17 12:07:31

In principle an employee can continue working past "normal retirement age, because Age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act (2010), and employers have to be really careful about how they broach the subject of retirement, so they can't be accused of discrimination against someone due to their age.

But (there always is one!) - if the job represents a Health and Safety risk e.g. police or fire service where a person of 70 is unlikely to be able to meet the rigours of the job, then the employer has to justify why the person cannot carry on "ad infinitum".

If it's one of those fab employers like B&Q who welcome the older worker then "jobs a good'un" until they are the age of Her Majesty (91 today and still going strong!). Lucky her, she doesn't have to worry about justifying her age to her employer!

flowery Fri 21-Apr-17 14:02:18

In most cases a default retirement age is unlawful, which means to dismiss a worker over 'normal' retirement age would be just as difficult as dismissing anyone else - an employer would need reasonable grounds, follow a proper process, etc. Age would not and could not be a factor.

However if your employer is one of those exceptions which has a lawful default retirement age and the 'document' being signed annually contains provision for the employer to terminate at the end of that year, it might be ok. I would be surprised, though. It's more likely that the employer is using it as a tool for planning purposes, rather than effectively putting everyone on fixed term contracts.

MeredithLogue Sat 22-Apr-17 06:52:02

Thank you for the replies, much clearer about situation now.

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