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Unless it can be objectively justified it is no longer permissible to dismiss someone on the grounds of retirement. Older workers can voluntarily retire at a time they choose and draw any occupational pension they are entitled to. Employers cannot force employees to retire or set a retirement age unless it can be objectively justified.

Work place discussions

Whatever the age of an employee, discussing their future aims and aspirations can help an employer to identify their training or development needs and provide an opportunity to discuss their future work requirements. For all employees these discussions may involve the question of where they see themselves in the next few years and how they view their contribution to the organisation. A useful exercise is to ask open question regarding an employee's aims and plans for the short, medium and long term. Some employers may find it useful to hold these discussions as part of their formal appraisal process.

The outcome of any workplace discussions should be recorded and held for as long as there is a business need for doing so. It would be good practice to give a copy to the employee.

Are your Managers equipped to conduct workplace discussions fairly and effectively? Poorly conducted workplace discussions can prove costly for a business. Acas can train your managers in how to conduct all types of workplace discussions and we can do it in company for you. Why not make an enquiry.

Poor performance

If an employee is performing poorly the employer should discuss this with them to establish a cause. Failure to address any poor performance with an employee because there is an expectation they will retire soon may be discriminatory. Employers should establish a reason for poor performance, setting improvement periods and agreeing what training and development would help the employee meet the business expectation. If levels are not improved and an employer has followed the company's performance procedure they then may decide to dismiss the employee on capability grounds.

Employer questions

Acas helpline

The Acas helpline provides a free and confidential resource for employers and employees to find out more about this and other employment relations and legislative issues and how they impact the workplace. Call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

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Call our Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free support and advice or to check your workplace policies and practices. The Acas Helpline provides free and impartial advice for employers, employees and representatives on a range of employment relations, employment rights, HR and management issues.

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