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Response to EU default retirement age ruling

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Response to EU
default retirement age ruling

Pusey, Director of the Employers Forum on Age, comments on the ruling by the
European Court of Justice against the Heyday challenge: “We are disappointed,
though not surprised, by today’s judgement. This further proves that both the
ECJ and Government regulations are completely behind the times.”

Alex Lock,
employment law expert at Beachcroft LLP commented: “Whilst we still don’t know
whether there will have to be any changes to UK law until we have the final
decision from the High Court, which may not be until 2010, today’s decision
does confirm that the UK Government has the flexibility to set a retirement

Lishman, Director General of Age Concern, said: “We are disappointed with the
ECJ’s judgment which sends the message that ageism is less important than other
forms of discrimination, but we will continue our fight to ensure that older
British workers are judged on their skills and abilities rather than their age.
The Government continues to consign tens of thousands of willing and able older
workers to the scrapheap.”

Paul Cann,
Director of Policy and External Relations for Help the Aged, said: “Mandatory
retirement ages are unfair and the Government should act to abolish them as
soon as possible. Challenging financial circumstances mean it is even more
important for older workers to be able to choose to work longer if they want to.”

Lockley, Head of Public law at Irwin Mitchell, who are acting solicitors for
Age Concern, said: “This is a very important decision for anyone who is
approaching the current retirement age, many of whom still feel they have a lot
to offer and want to continue working. The law needed clarification, as neither
employers nor older employees knew where they stood.”

Schona Jolly,
discrimination specialist at Cloisters chambers, said: “This is clearly a
setback for age equality campaigners who were hoping for favourable rulings
that would show that the European Court considered age discrimination to be as
serious as race or sex discrimination.”

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