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 mangers in how to conduct all types of workplace discussions and we can do it in company for you. Why not make an enquiry.
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.
- I Have an employee who is not performing as well as I would wish, what can I do now that I can not dismiss him on retirement grounds when he reaches 65?
- What can I do if an employee had indicated that they will retire on a certain date but then do not do so?
- What can I say to an older employee at a meeting to discuss their future plans?
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 08457 47 47 47.
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