Did you know the expression having a ‘Hey’ day dates back to an Anglo-Saxon use of ‘hey’ as an expression of great enthusiasm and happiness? A person’s ‘heyday’ is the period of her or his greatest vigour and success.
If only this were the case with the latest position on the UK default retirement age. I use the Heyday analogy, as this is the name of the case that has been commented upon by the European Advocate General before the matter finally washes up in the European Court of Justice. For those of you who haven’t been following this case it’s about the Heyday organisation who want people to work beyond the age of 65 and consider that the UK’s current stance with a default retirement age of 65 is discriminatory.
The Advocate General commenting on the case has said that the UK’s stance may not necessarily be discriminatory…but at this stage it is only a comment and the case has to be finally determined by the European Court of Justice.
I do hope the Government uses the opportunity of the Single Equalities Bill to sort this mess out. The default retirement age is really difficult for employers to follow and many end up unsure of what to do when their employees reach the age of 65…even some with large HR and legal departments at their disposal; so spare a thought for small businesses.
In my view, the ‘default’ retirement age is too woolly and we need a clearer statutory position. So please can we have some clarity before I revert to some good old Anglo Saxon expletives?
Dean Shoesmith – Vice President (Elect) PPMA