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The retirement age and the European Court of Justice Ruling.

Written by Paul Bicknell on 20 April 2009

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Age discrimination happens when a person is treated differently because of their age. Such discrimination can happen directly, indirectly, by victimisation, and by harassment. Last month the ECJ delivered it's judgment in relation to the validity or otherwise of current retirement age.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has handed down its judgment in: The Incorporated Trustees of the National Council for Ageing (Age Concern England) v Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, where the ECJ was required to judge on the interpretation of the Equal Treatment Directive and the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (2006) (the regulation).

The ECJ opined that Member States are not require to provide for differences in treatment that may amount to a justification and; in sum, the test for justification is the same as that found in both forms of discrimination (direct and indirect).

The High Court will now have to decide whether the age limit of 65 for retirement is justified within the scope of the regulations.

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