The Advocate-General has handed down his opinion in The Heyday Appeal. He recommends that the ECJ dismiss Age Concern's challenges to the lawfulness of regulations 3 and 30 of the Employment Equality (Age Discrimination) Regulations 2006.The opinion is here, and a BBC news summary is here.The two key recommendations are that the Court holds:-
- that it is legitimate to allow a general justification defence, and that it is not necessary for the Regulations to define specific categories of conduct which can be justified (see paras. 56 and 57); and,
- that regulation 30 (which permits employers to dismiss employees aged 65 or over if the reason for dismissal is retirement) is not incompatible with the Equal Treatment Framework Directive provided the regulation is objectively justified within the context of national law.
So the question of whether a lawful retirement age of 65 is lawful is still very much a live issue for determination by the national courts.