Mr Ayodele was employed by Compass Group. He was informed by his employer that it intended to retire him at 65. Compass advised Mr Ayodele that he could request to work beyond the age of 65, which he did. Mr Ayodele’s request was refused without reasons, as was his appeal. Having been dismissed on reaching 65, Mr Ayodele brought a claim for unfair dismissal and age discrimination.
The Tribunal held that the claimant had been dismissed by reason of retirement and that the dismissal had been unfair. Compass appealed to the EAT.
The EAT agreed that Mr Ayodele had been unfairly dismissed and upheld the decision of the Tribunal. The duty on the employer to “consider” a request to work beyond retirement should be considered in good faith by the employer exercising that duty.
This decision serves as a useful reminder to employers that although they are entitled to have a retirement policy, a degree of flexibility is required. It is not enough to simply follow meaningless formalities, as employers must approach such requests with genuine consideration and in good faith. Often it is advisable not to have a set retirement age.
Ayodele v Compass GroupUKEAT/0484/10