Dealing with retirement

In last week’s blog we looked at retirement and your responsibilities as an employer to adapt to meet the changing needs of your workforce as they work for longer.  Performance management is the key.

As an example we looked at the case of Robin, an employee approaching 65 years of age with 10 years of service for John’s company under his belt.  Robing is no longer performing as well as he used to and doesn’t seem to be as motivated.  John thinks ordinarily Robin should have been retiring but retirement is no longer a fair reason for dismissal.

How should John deal with Robin’s under performance at this stage? Bearing in mind that the Default Retirement Age (DRA was removed by the Employment Equality Regulations in 2011).

  • John should hold regular discussions with Robin to make him aware of the underperformance issues.  It is important that John understands the situation from Robin’s point of view but also that Robin understands the impact his underperformance is having on the business.  These discussions must be an honest two-way flow of information not unfavourable treatment as a result of Robin’s age
  • John should consider and discuss flexible working options with Robin to help him reach his targets in a way that suits him and his changing situation
  • John must ensure that he has in place and instigates a performance management programme that makes provision for older members of staff such as Robin.  It could include for example training options, flexible working, consideration of alternative employment options, as well as regular informal and formal reviews
  • Dismissal as a result of lack of capability is an option if the situation does not improve but John must bear in mind that if he gets this wrong Robin could have a case for unfair dismissal or disability discrimination.