Posts Tagged ‘Retirement’

Your Questions Answered

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

We aim to give our readers and followers the best advice when it comes to managing people effectively. Every month you can read a digest of some HR questions that might be relevant for you.

Q: Can I force an employee to retire? 

A: Most employers have a set retirement date outlined. However, even this doesn’t guarantee that you can enforce retirement – recent cases – including a recent WRC adjudication, have paid out against employers who have tried to make employees retire against their will.

Q: So – what can I do to ensure that I don’t have a problem?          

A: There is no absolute guarantee, but we identify 4 tips below which will certainly help:

  • Retirement age: Have a set and agreed retirement age in place for employees, and ensure it is clearly stated in employment contracts and the Employee Handbook
  • Categories of Staff: Have a consistent retirement age – try to avoid different retirement ages for different positions/categories/grades as this will be seen as confusing
  • Consistent Practices: Practice what you preach! If you can stand over previous consistent retirements in recent years, and you have a precedent for retirement age, you will be in a much stronger position to continue to justify your existing retirement age
  • Retirement Policy: Have a clear Retirement Policy in place which justifies the Company retirement age, and clearly outlines the process for employees and management, including notification of retirement, an appeals mechanism etc.

We have a team of trained and skilled investigators and consultants who have extensive experience in this area and would be happy to discuss any issue of concern with you. Just email us on info@voltedge.ie or call Ingrid on 01 5252914.

Voltedge Management

Retirement Age questioned in recent High Court Case

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

In the last few weeks, a High Court judgement served as a useful reminder that employers who have a proposed retirement age for employees must consider whether they are actually entitled to retire the employees at all. The case of Quigley v HSE is one to watch as the High Court has granted an interlocutory injunction to restrain the HSE from dismissing the employee who contended that he was not contractually required to retire at age 65.

This of course reminds us that having a contractual retirement age in the contract is an essential prerequisite. In this recent case, the HSE contended that the requirement to retire at age 65 had been implied into the contract of employment and that as a long-standing permanent officer of the HSE, he must have known that he had to retire at age 65, the statutory retirement age for permanent officers who joined the public health service at the time he did.

Of course the contractual retirement age even if it is stated as a mandatory retirement, can still be challenged to ensure there is no grounds for age discrimination or Unfair Dismissals under the Acts. Interestingly age discrimination claims are becoming the norm where the absence of a retirement age that is objectively justified, the employer can be exposed under the Employment Equality Acts in respect to enforcing the retirement of an employee based on age.

It is likely that there will be further reviews of this matter in 2018, when it may require legislative change.