European ruling on compulsory retirement age

On 5 March 2009, the European Court of Justice published its ruling on the challenge to the UK’s compulsory retirement age.

The decision confirmed that European Member States have ‘the option to provide, within the context of national law, for certain kinds of differences in treatment on grounds of age if they are “objectively and reasonably” justified by a legitimate aim, such as employment policy, or labour market or vocational training objectives, and if the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary. It imposes on Member States the burden of establishing to a high standard of proof the legitimacy of the aim relied on as a justification.’

Click here for ruling

Click here for Discrimination Law Association briefing by Gay Moon

Click here for Guardian report of the decision

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