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Annie Hayes



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Retirement gets its Heyday


Heyday, a sister organisation of Age Concern, is taking its fight against the UK’s implementation of European anti-age discrimination legislation before the European Court of Justice.

There are currently some 260 forced retirement cases making their way through the tribunals and all have been stayed until the outcome of the Heyday case is known.

If this case goes against the government, it would mean an overhaul of UK law – which currently states that older workers have the right to ask to continue beyond 65 but the employer has no obligation to allow it.

The advocate-general will publish his report on 23 September and the court decision is expected before the end of the year.

Yvonne Gallagher, head of employment at the business law firm LG, said: “The UK’s current implementation does not give older workers any rights to continue, only to ask and be considered – and this case will turn on what is being held as discriminating against older workers.

“The UK legislation contains a number of exceptions which effectively undermine the position of older workers, such as the fact that workers who are within six months of age 65 or older are excluded from protection from discrimination in recruitment processes.”

She added: “However my feeling is that the UK government’s position could be upheld because in a not dissimilar previous case involving an older worker in Spain the European Court approved similar exemptions introduced by the Spanish government.”

Lawyers for Heyday argue there are distinct differences between the Heyday case and the Spanish case.

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Annie Hayes


Read more from Annie Hayes

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