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EU court backs UK retirement law

  A British law that gives employers the right to force staff to retire can be justified if part of social policy aims, the European Union’s top court said on Thursday.

The law allow companies to dismiss an employee without redundancy payments when the worker reaches the age of 65 or the mandatory retirement age set by the company.

“This kind of difference of treatment on grounds of age is justified if it is a proportionate means to achieve a legitimate social policy objective related to employment policy, the labor market or vocational training,” the European Court of Justice said.

It said in a statement that it was up to national courts to decide whether the UK law had a legitimate aim and was appropriate. Heyday, the membership organization of lobby Age Concern, had complained the law was contrary to the EU’s equal treatment rules prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of age.

The government argued its law did not fall within the scope of the EU rules. (Reuters)