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Employment Equality (Amendment) Bill 2016 – Compulsory Retirement Ages and Full Fitness to Work

Section 6 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 (as amended by Section 4 of the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015) is to be amended to provide that it will be unlawful to impose a compulsory retirement age against an employee if the employee can demonstrate as a “matter of fact full fitness to work including the ability to carry out the work and tasks for which they are contracted in a satisfactory manner“In assessing whether the employee is fully fit to engage in the work as required in their contract of employment, regard can be had to:(i) physical and mental fitness; (ii) ability to carry out the work and tasks effectively as required by contract; (iii) knowledge of, and experience in, the role of employment as contracted. If an employee claims that they are fully fit to work and their employer agrees, the employee’s employment cannot be terminated due to a compulsory retirement age “for at least twelve months from the date on which the original compulsory retirement date accrued”. The requirement of full fitness to work will be reviewed annually by either or both parties and any disputes can be referred to the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 15 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015. 

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