As the government announces radical new plans to scrap the age of retirement for UK workers – currently set at age 65 – many firms are worried that they may now face an increase in employment tribunal claims.
In response to increased life expectancy in the UK, and also as a response to the view that workers over 65 are ‘past it’, the government wants to allow people to continue working into their 70s and 80s if they wish to. Ed Davey, employment relations minister for the government, has said:
“Older workers bring with them a wealth of talent and experience as employees and entrepreneurs. They have a vital contribution to make to our economic recovery and long-term prosperity.”
If these changes take effect, employers will no longer be able to force people to retire at 65 via dismissal. Any companies who do so may find themselves having to make a claim on their employers’ liability insurance as the ex-employee alleges unfair dismissal and age discrimination at employment tribunal.
This also means that employers may face retroactive claims for compensation from workers who were dismissed from their jobs at 65 before the new rules came into effect.