New redundancy law
The EAT has handed down a new judgment ,'Howard v Campbell's Caravans', involving notification to an employee that he will be retired after his 65th Birthday...
The Case involved the dismissal of an employee at the end of the week in which his 65th birthday fell, in accordance with a NRA of 65. It was said to be unfair and to constitute age discrimination because the employer had failed, in the manner of the prescribed retirement notification under Schedule 6 of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 1996. Specifically it was contented that the employer had failed to specify the retirement date in that the notification had merely said that he would be retired “after” his 65th birthday.
Mr Justice Underhill argued that it does not necessarily constitute a failure to comply with the requirement of the statutory retirement procedure that the employee must be notified of the intended date of his retirement.
It was held that the inclusion of the word “after” did not always mean “on a date later than” and that in context the notification should be read as stating an intention to retire him on his 65th birthday (it making no difference that he was in fact retired two days later)
On the employer’s alternative case that the notice constituted notification of retirement at the end of the week in which his birthday fell, by reference to the company handbook which made it clear that that was its practice, doubted whether that would have sufficed because the notification should not require reference to extraneous documents.