With effect from 1 October, employers will not be able to use the default retirement age to make staff retire. They will still be able to decide at what age employees retire, but they will have to justify this decision at an employment tribunal if questioned. The changes will mean that in most cases employees will be able to choose when to retire.
HTA human resources consultant Penny Worner said: "The removal of the default retirement age does not mean that employees will never be able to retire. It means that employers cannot force employees to retire at a set age unless that age can be objectively justified.
"It will be necessary for employers to open up discussion between themselves and employees in an atmosphere of trust to help facilitate the transition from work to retirement for both the individual and the business.
"If an employee is performing poorly, the employer must discuss the issues with them to establish the cause."
- For further details, see www.direct.gov.uk/en/ Pensionsandretirementplanning/Working/DG_184309.