Retirement age ruling ‘legitimate’

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has welcomed the European Court of Justice's ruling on the UK's default retirement age.

A ruling from the court found the UK’s compulsory retirement age of 65 does not breach European Union legislation and is justifiable if it is related to employment and social policy.

John Cridland, deputy director general of the CBI, says the judgment is a ‘victory for common sense’.

He says the ruling is particularly good for small businesses, as companies with fewer staff find it harder to adapt roles to suit older employees.

Cridland adds that the current system allows for flexibility, as people can request to carry on working beyond the compulsory retirement age.

‘Our research shows that 81 per cent of requests to work beyond 65 are accepted. Companies don’t want to lose good people, whatever their age,’ Cridland adds.

Charity Age Concern, which took the case to Europe with the backing of the Help the Aged charity and the Conservative party, says the ruling is disappointing as it means workers are judged by their age and not their skills.

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