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65 Year Old Employee Reinstated After Being Forced Into Retirement

In a recent case, a Telecoms Company Eir ordered a 65 year old employee to be reinstated after being forced into retirement.

In February 2023, Mr. Doolin received notice that he must retire from his position as a desktop support agent upon turning 65 on July 1. Requesting an extension, his plea was rejected by the Respondent in March 2023. Despite the absence of an appeal process in the respondent’s retirement policy, an appeal meeting was arranged in April, resulting in a decision to uphold the retirement age.

The respondent defended the fixed retirement age of 65, citing the need to prevent a simultaneous mass retirement and asserting health and safety considerations for their field-based workforce. However, the Adjudicating Officer, considering the specifics of Mr. Doolin’s role in a small IT department and its non-critical nature, found these justifications lacking. Additionally, health and safety concerns were deemed irrelevant as Mr. Doolin’s role was office and desk-based.

Referring to the WRC Code of Practice on Longer Working, the Adjudicating Officer concluded that Mr. Doolin had been subjected to age discrimination and ordered his reinstatement.

This case underscores the importance of thoughtfully considering requests for extended working, especially as pension reform encourages more employees to work beyond the state pension age. Employers should carefully justify decisions to deny such requests, referring to The Code of Practice on Longer Working (SI No 600 of 2017) for best practices.

For organisations navigating complex HR matters, Voltedge Management offers a team of expert consultants providing support, guidance, and advice. Contact us at 01 5252914 or for comprehensive assistance.