Blackstone, Cloisters ECJ case to decide UK retirement age issue

Blackstone Chambers and Cloisters are to face off in a European Courts of Justice case that will determine if it is legal for 65 to be the standard retirement age.


Blackstone Chambers and Cloisters are to face off in a European Courts of Justice case that will determine if it is legal for 65 to be the standard retirement age.

The case being brought by Heyday – part of charity Age Concern – is scheduled for Wednesday (2 July) and will potentially affect millions of people in the UK, including an estimated 1.2m already past retirement age.

Many age discrimination cases in the UK that are related to retirement have been stayed until the outcome of Wednesday’s case.

The argument being put forward by Cloisters, which is acting for Heyday, is that UK legislation is not in line with European law as the Government’s interpretation of the rules is wrong.

Initially the Government, represented by Blackstone, sought to argue retirement age was not included in European discrimination rules, but this point has now been conceded.

The point of reference is now on whether the UK has to specify the limits to which employers can seek to justify direct age discrimination.

Cloisters head of chambers Robin Allen QC is leading Declan O’Dempsey, also of Cloisters, for Heyday. The pair were instructed by Irwin Mitchell partner Andrew Lockley. Blackstone silk Dinah Rose QC is acting for the UK Government and was instructed by the Treasury solicitors.