Default Retirement Age Abolished

25th March 2011
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The Government Confirms Abolition of Default Retir

The Government has confirmed that it will abolish the Default Retirement Age (DRA) from October 2011. The process will begin in April 2011. This has been welcomed by some who say this will protect against ageism. It also has the advantage of keeping experienced valuable workers in the workplace. They, in turn, can pass on their knowledge and experience to others. In 2009, it was estimated that 100,000 workers were forced to retire.

The law should evolve and change to reflect the social and economic changes in society. The Equality and Human Rights Commission already argue that a compulsory retirement age is discriminatory. The change in the law will hopefully lead to a change in people’s views about retirement and shift away from the current ‘countdown culture’.

Some people in the 60’s do not relish the prospect of retirement and enjoy the social and financial benefits of remaining in employment.

The current law is contained in the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. Under the provisions it allows employers to force employee’s retirement at the age of 65. This is arguably an arbitrary and unfair rule. The only statutory procedure in place is that notice must be given to the employee 6 months before reaching the age of 65 of a meeting with their employer. At the end of the meeting it is entirely at the discretion of the employer as to whether he will terminate the employment. Legally there is no redress for the employee.

The changes mean that people over 65 will have full employment law rights for the first time.  The regulations are expected to take effect from 6 April 2011. From the 6 April employers will no longer just be able to give notice of a meeting. Notice made prior to 6 April will be valid on the condition retirement must take place before the 1 October 2011.

For Employers the choices are that either they end the traditional retirement age, or keep it on the basis that they can objectively justify it. The statutory notice and consultation procedure will be abolished as well. ACAS has published guidance for employers on the changes titled: ‘Working without the Default Retirement Age’. Businesses have raised concerns about the effect this will have on them.

Another aspect of this of course is that it will help public finances, in the fact that employees will be paying tax and putting off claiming their state pension. Under such austere economic times, the ageing population places a strain on Government resources. An ageing, working population could potentially save the Government £3.5 billion a year.

For advice for your business on retiring a member of staff please contact Daven Naghen on daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or 01775 722261.


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Property Protection Trusts

Property Protection Trusts and Protecting your Property from Care Home Fees

Many people are concerned that as they get older, they may need to move into a care home and the cost of such care can be very expensive. Many people are therefore looking for ways to protect their assets from care home fees.

In recent years “Property Protection Trusts” have been promoted as being the failsafe, guaranteed way of protecting your property from care home fees. Many companies promoting such trusts are unregulated and their products such as Property Protection Trusts are being promoted and sold by sometimes nothing more than a very persuasive salesperson.

It is likely that your home is your largest asset and you should be very cautious before making any decisions with regard to your largest asset and the roof over your head. Indeed a Property Protection Trust may not even protect your home from being sold to pay for care fees or could cause tax implications and therefore it is very important that you take advice from one of our lawyers before making any decisions with regard to such Property Protection Trusts.

These Trusts can be brought to people’s attention either from cold calling, arranging home visits and sometimes even from kiosks or stalls in public areas. The people “selling” Property Protection Trusts to you can be very persuasive and may not be providing you with correct information or all of the information you should have before making a decision regarding your property. Their fees are often excessive.

In some cases, these companies even offer Lasting Powers of Attorney at what they claim to be a reduced rate. People should take caution as these “cheap” Lasting Powers of Attorney often result in being more expensive than our own charges and the companies involved often do not provide the correct advice or the necessary advice for you.

If you have been contacted by someone discussing Property Protection Trusts and would like to discuss this further with one of the lawyers in the Wills and Probate Department of this firm or you have already created a Property Protection Trust but would like to take further advice then please contact one of our lawyers in the Wills and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com
Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com
Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

Or telephone the office 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Gemma Mayer LLB

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Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!