Mandatory Retirement – getting closer to becoming a thing of the past? | Fieldfisher
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Mandatory Retirement – getting closer to becoming a thing of the past?



This week, Ministers have approved the general scheme of the Employment (Restriction of Certain Mandatory Retirement Ages) Bill 2023 ("the Bill").

This Bill prevents the enforcement of mandatory retirement ages lower than the state pension age, currently 66.

This proposed change in law is extremely relevant to employers. Many (if not most) employers still choose to set a compulsory retirement age of 65 in their contracts of employment. The likely enactment of this Bill would mean that employers nationwide will be forced to re-think (and re-draft!) retirement policies and/or contracts and permit requests from existing employees to continue working to 66.

With people living longer and generally wanting to stay in the workforce for longer, the introduction of this legislation will result in another step towards the possible eventual abolition of compulsory retirement ages within organisations.

It is also apparent that claims to the Workplace Relations Commission ("WRC") relating to age discrimination are on the rise. The latest WRC Annual Report shows a 176% increase in age-related discrimination complaints, from 186 cases in 2021 to 514 in 2022.  

The "Eir" case in late 2023, where an employee was reinstated by the WRC to his role following his compulsory retirement has also further publicised this already topical issue.

Written by: Greta Siskauskaite and Barry Walsh

This document is for general guidance only and not intended as professional advice. Advice should always be taken before acting on any of the issues identified.

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