As discussed in our last bulletin ("Age Discrimination – Claims Involving Retirement Ages") the EAT in England & Wales has stayed all claims involving retirement under regulation 30 of the Employment Equality (Age Regulations) 2006 (providing for lawful retirement at or beyond 65) is unlawful until the ECJ reaches a decision in the Heyday case.

The EAT in Scotland has recently confirmed that it will not be issuing a similar direction in relation to tribunal cases in Scotland and that cases will continue to be referred to Employment Judges for individual decisions.

Impact on Employers

  • Employers across the UK should be cautious in relation to retirements. Until the ECJ decision (expected in 2008/2009) is delivered, employers cannot be certain that retirement dismissals will not result in successful claims, even where they have followed the procedure laid out in the Age Regulations and guidance issued by DBERR.
  • Unfortunately, this results in a different approach in different parts of the UK in relation to a claim under UK wide legislation.