By Lea Pachta

Responding to the High Court ruling on the default retirement age, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is disappointed that the Court has upheld the British Law allowing employers to retire workers against their wishes when they turn 65. The CIPD has consistently called for the removal of the DRA for the pressing economic, social and business reasons.

CIPD Diversity Adviser, Dianah Worman says:

“The High Court has missed a trick to resolve this issue once and for all. The government itself has admitted that the days of the DRA are numbered. It seems counter-intuitive to drag this decision out even further while thousands of older people will be forced out of work in an already difficult jobs market.

“As the HR body we do not buy the HR argument that businesses can’t manage their workforce without the DRA. If you have poor performers in your organisation you should also have the performance management systems to deal with them. You wouldn’t wait 25 years to remove a poor performing 40 year-old.

“Additionally, business should recognise that this ruling only states that companies can legally retire staff at 65 if they want to. Many organisations and several government departments have already done away with compulsory retirement ages because they recognise the value of retaining older workers and the CIPD encourages all businesses to follow suit.

“We will continue to push for the removal of the mandatory retirement age, both through the current Equality Bill and when the government conducts its own review next year.”

CIPD research conducted earlier this year found that 1 in 5 employers planned to enforce the DRA more rigorously in order to reduce headcount.