Retirement Age dismissal upheld

The Employment Appeals Tribunal has recently (in a majority decision) rejected an unfair dismissal claim which was brought by a former employee of a well known restaurant. The restaurant terminated the employee when he reached  the age of 65, the employee had been ill, and whilst out on sick leave, he received notification of his termination as he had reached the age of 65.

The restaurant had issued a contract of employment to the employee in 2008 and this clearly had a retirement age of 65 years – particularly important given the physical nature of the job. The employee disputed this fact and stated that he had never received a written contract over the 26 years of his employment with the employer.

One member of the Tribunal disagreed with the majority decision, however this is an important decision for employers and validates that if you have a contract stating a retirement age, this should be implemented without difficulty.  (UD 556/2013)