EAT has held that employers are not entitled to rely on blanket policies which require employees to retire when they reach 65. Consideration must be given to requests to extend employment beyond this age, and the employer has a duty to act in good faith.
In this case the key facts were:
- Both the employee's request to stay in employment beyond the age of 65, and his appeal, were refused without reasons being given.
- The tribunal found that the employee had been unfairly dismissed as the employer had not genuinely considered his request.
- The employer's argument that their policy was not flexible was no defence and the tribunal found that each request should be handled on an individual basis.
Key point: Employers should ensure that any requests are considered thoroughly and detailed reasons are given if they are denied. In any event, since the abolition of the default retirement age, any compulsory retirement at a certain age must be capable of being objectively justified by the employer.
Ayodele v Compass Group