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Age equality

Resources and guidance for UCU equality officers and activists can be found in the age equality resource centre.

See also: UCU regional retired members' branches


ECJ ruling on compulsory retirement: Fuchs and anor v Land Hessen

This is an important decision of the European Court of Justice. It concerns the ability of an employer to continue to follow a mandatory retirement policy and may be relied upon as an authority in tribunal and court hearings in the UK: download the ruling (.pdf)


Default Retirement Age

Ending of default retirement age

The government announced on 13 January 2011 that the Default Retirement Age (DRA) is to be phased out between 6 April and 1 October 2011. The Government's written response to its recent consultation on the issue, and new guidance from Acas to help businesses adapt to the removal of the regulation, have been published today.

Read more on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.

This will end a currently legal form of discrimination on the grounds of age.

UCU welcomes this move and reaffirms its support of the TUC position that everyone should have the right to retire with dignity and a decent pension.

Age UK research shows that an estimated 100,000 workers were forced to retire in 2009 alone. This has caused harm to those who wish to work beyond retirement age, both financially and in terms of the impact on the person's self determination.

These plans should mean that workers aged 65 and over will have the same job security as younger workers from October 2011, for the first time. Getting rid of the DRA would also help change views about the retirement process, encouraging employers and workers to be more positive about the contribution people can make in their late 50s and 60s. We need to move beyond the current 'countdown culture', in which the value of an employee is thought to lessen simply because they are approaching retirement age.

Removing the default retirement age would have no impact on the age at which people become entitled to occupational or state pensions


European Court of Justice and the Age Concern case

On 5 March the European Court of Justice (ECJ) published its judgment in the case brought by Age Concern that is challenging parts of the age regulations. The ruling confirmed that the UK government will have to overcome a high hurdle to justify the default retirement age when the case returns to the High Court: full details in the age equality resource centre


For more information, please contact Seth Atkin: satkin@ucu.org.uk


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