ECJ makes a ruling on retirement age | tutor2u Law

The ECJ has ruled that is is ok for employers in the UK to force workers to retire once they reach 65 years of age.

The ECJ said that this is acceptable if the government has a legitimate aim relating to employment and social policy.

In such cases, the ECJ gives guidance which is then applied in the relevant national court - so now that a ruling on the effect of European law on the UK has been made - albeit in a Spanish case - it will be up to the High Court to decide if the age limit is “appropriate and necessary”, just as it will be for the equivalent Spanish court to decide the issue there.

It will be interesting to see how this goes as most people see it as a setback for the claimant in this case, who was arguing that being forced to retire at 65 amounts to age discrimination… although Age Concern intend to push ahead with it.

Questions for A Level law students:

1. Can the ECJ bind UK Courts?
2. Could the ECJ change its mind on this issue in future?
3. If the High Court decides the age limit is justified, which English courts will be bound by its decision?
4. Which Courts will be able to overrule the High Court’s decision?
5. What do you think about the government’s policy? Is this the sign of a civilised society, or is it rampant ageism?

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