Can we enforce a contractual retirement age?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 April 2016
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered:

Compulsory retirement of employees may potentially amount to unlawful age discrimination. Whether the contractual retirement age in question here can be enforced will depend on whether you are able to objectively justify it as a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim". This will require you to show that:

  • It is intended to meet a legitimate aim.
  • Having the particular retirement age meets that aim.
  • It is proportionate to use that retirement age as a means of meeting that aim.

Case law has shown that a legitimate aim must correspond to a "real business need". Examples include: workforce planning; promoting the recruitment and retention of younger employees; ensuring a high

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 05/04/2016

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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