Last Friday the 5th of October marked the final day that the Default Retirement Age (DRA) can operate as employers will no longer be able to force workers to retire following the abolition of the DRA last year.

Prior to April 2011, employers had to give staff between six and 12 months’ notice of intention to make them retire, with an additional six months possible extension if they were compelling them to retire under the rules.

Charity Director General of Age UK, Michelle Mitchell, said:

“We hope that now it is illegal to force someone out of their job simply because they are 65 or over, it will make employers look beyond their staff’s date of birth, objectively assess their skills and contributions and trigger a more positive and realistic attitude to older people.”

Age UK added that the end of the DRA marks a “major milestone in the fight against age discrimination”.

Ros Altmann, Director-General of over-50s group Saga, which had campaigned for the law change, said:

“The move was long overdue and hopefully the workplace is now much more welcoming to older workers. This change does not mean anyone has to be forced to work longer. But it does mean that employers cannot force people to stop, if they are perfectly good at their jobs and willing and able to work.”