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Default Retirement Age - More Detail

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[Thanks to Schona Jolley for writing this case summary, and Declan O'Dempsey (who appeared in the Heyday case) for sending me the decision ]

Judgment was handed down today in the Heyday litigation. Age UK challenged the Default Retirement Age (DRA) of 65 in the Age Regulations arguing that Regulation 30 should be struck down since there was no clear and consistent social policy aim pursued by government. They argued the choice of a DRA at 65 was not proportionate. The EHRC submitted that 70 was the earliest appropriate age for a DRA.

The Government succeeded in respect of Regulation 30, but only just. Although the Court held that Regulation 30 (and a DRA in principle) was both legitimate and proportionate, there were powerful reasons why an age over 65 should have been adopted. Two days before trial the Defendant announced it would review Regulation 30 in early 2010. The Court considered that if there had been no indication of this imminent review it would have granted the application. Likewise, if Regulation 30 had been adopted for the first time in 2009, the application would have been granted.

The Claimants lost on their argument that the Regulation 3 justification test should be struck down for want of clarity since the Court considered the Government had spelled out sufficiently its social policy aims about the integrity of the labour market.

To listen to Daniel Barnett discussing this case on LBC 97.3, click here(allow 30 seconds for the download).