Bailey v R&R Plant (Peterborough) Ltd 2011

2 June 2011

Retirement notice under the statutory retirement procedures (now repealed).

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has handed down its decision in the case of Bailey v R&R Plant (Peterborough) Ltd, which is authority for the proposition that when an employer provides written notice of its intention to retire an employee under the statutory retirement procedures, the employer must inform the employee that any written request to continue working must be in writing and must state that it is made under paragraph 5 of Schedule 6 to the Employment Equality Age Regulations 2006 (now repealed).

The EAT found that the Respondent’s letter to the Claimant informing him that he would be retired and that he is entitled to make a request to continue working beyond his 65th birthday was invalid because the written notice did not state that the request must be made under paragraph 5 of Schedule 6. HHJ Richardson concluded by saying that “An employee is not informed of the statutory procedural right merely by being told that he may make a request not to retire…He is informed of the statutory procedural right only if he is told the essential conditions by which it may be exercised”.

The EAT held that the Claimant was unfairly dismissed by reason of retirement.
This case is of limited significance for the future as the statutory retirement procedure was repealed on 6 April 2011. Having said this, there are likely to be employers who have issued notices of retirement in the run-up to the repeal of the retirement procedure. In light of this decision, those notices will probably be held to be invalid if challenged by an employee.