Default Retirement Age (DRA) to be removed

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The Government announced on 13 January 2011 that the default retirement age (DRA) is to be removed. This means that employers will no longer be able to use the DRA to retire employees after 1 October 2011.

There is however clear protection in the legislation of a right for employers to offer an objective justification of a fixed retirement age for those occupations where physical capacity is a particular requirement.

If employers have continued good practices and management of all their employees, they should have nothing to fear from this legislation.

Having robust policies and procedures in place means employers can avoid costly claims.

Previously companies were able to force their employees to retire when they reached 65. This week’s announcement no longer makes this possible and for some employers, may make workforce planning and providing some employment benefits, such as critical illness cover, more difficult.

Age is not and should not be a key determinant of capability. Poor performers can and should be tackled regardless of age. Good performance and capability management makes it easy for employers to retain talented and committed employees, and rightfully dismiss people who are not performing.

Other Changes From April 2011...

Additional paternity leave and pay

The new right to additional paternity is available to parents of children with an expected week of childbirth beginning on or after 3 April 2011.

Additional paternity leave and pay means that fathers will be allowed to benefit from up to 26 weeks' additional paternity leave if the mother returns to work before using her full entitlement to statutory maternity leave.

The right to request flexible working extended

From 6 April 2011, the right to request flexible working will be extended to parents of children under 18. This currently only applies to parents of children aged under 17, or 18 if the child is disabled. 

17 January 2011

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