News and Events

Retirement and Discrimination

  • Posted

The ECJ has handed down its opinion in the important case of Palacios v Cortefiel Servicios SA, holding that the EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive does not prohibit member states from introducing mandatory retirement ages.

Disagreeing with the Advocate-General (see bulletin 15/2/07), the ECJ held that a general mandatory retirement age did fall within the scope of what the Directive prohibited.

However, the ECJ considered that a mandatory retirement age was justified, as it was a proportionate means of achieving the legitimate social aim of promoting employment opportunities and reducing unemployment.

As readers will know, Heyday are currently challenging the UK's retirement provisions before the ECJ (see bulletins 5/10/06 and 6/12/06). This decision will cause much glumness at Heyday's offices this morning, and no doubt champage corks are being popped over at DBERR (i.e. the DTI, as it used to be called).

[Thanks to Michael Herman of Times Online for telling me about this decision]