In Holmes v Active Sensors Ltd, the employer had correctly followed the retirement notification procedure and therefore the employee who was retired at the age of 65 lost his age discrimination claim.

The employee also lost his claim of unfair dismissal as he had failed to serve on his employer a request to carry on working past retirement that complied with the relevant statutory requirements. Although this is only a tribunal decision and therefore not binding, it indicates that the tribunals may apply the requirements of the regulations very rigidly.

Impact on employers

This strict application of the Regulations could be good news for employers faced with a challenge, provided they have followed the correct retirement notification procedure. However, it is likely to be considered good practice for employers to draw employees' attention to a retirement policy or procedure and the fact that a request to work beyond retirement must meet certain technical requirements in order to be valid under the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006:

  • it must expressly state that the request is made under paragraph 5 of Schedule 6 of the Regulations; and
  • it must state whether the employee wants to work indefinitely, for a fixed period or until a stated date.