Government confirms abolition of Default Retirement Age
As widely anticipated in the press, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has today confirmed that the default retirement age will be abolished from 1st October 2011 (with phasing in begining in April).
Basically ignoring the concerns expressed by employers during the consultation process, the government's Response to Consultation Paper says that it considers that the dismissal of older workers should be managed either by discussion or by formal performance management procedures.
However, an exemption is going to be introduced for group risk insured benefits (eg medical insurance), where there was a concern that employers would stop offering such benefits if it became too expensive to pay the premiums due to an ageing workforce. In broad terms, it will not be unlawful to discriminate on grounds of age when providing such benefits. Details will presumably follow when the draft legislation is published.
Acas has issued a flowchart showing the transitional arrangements, and a really useful 20-page guide for employers on Working without the Default Retirement Age.