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Landmark court ruling ‘supports forced retirement’

A recent ruling by the UK Supreme Court has suggested that employers can force workers who have reached the statutory retirement age to retire on a number of ‘legitimate grounds’, such as ensuring the future succession of staff.

In the landmark ruling, the court dismissed the appeal of a solicitor whose claim to continue working beyond retirement age was rejected.

While Mr Seldon argued that the firm’s decision amounted to age discrimination, the employer put forward the case that its policy on retirement had a number of aims, which included ensuring that younger workers were given the opportunity to take up a partnership role after an appropriate period.

The firm also argued that its policy aided long-term planning, and reduced the need to force partners to leave on the grounds of poor performance.

The judgement stated that all businesses must now ‘give careful consideration to what, if any, mandatory retirement rules can be justified in their particular business’.

The ruling follows the recent news that almost 50% of working people over the age of 50 will need to remain in work for a further 11 years beyond state retirement age, in order to achieve a minimum standard of living in retirement.

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