Retirement and Fixed-Term Contracts Guidelines

Retirement and Fixed- Term Contracts Guidelines April 2018The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission  has published guidance for employers and employees to seek to ensure that older workers, who wish to continue in employment, are not discriminated against in Irish workplaces.

The guidance focuses on the threat of discrimination arising from the offering of fixed-term contracts to persons over the compulsory retirement age. It considers practical issues that arise from granting fixed-term contracts to employees who are over the compulsory retirement age, and explain how these issues may be addressed by both employers and employees.

Furthermore, the Guidelines consider the setting of retirement ages, and the dismissal of employees who reach the normal retirement age. Both of these actions are subject to the requirement of “objective justification”. The Guidelines explore what “objective justification” means and what the relevant test involves.

The guidelines serve a dual purpose: they equip employers in meeting obligations under the Employment Equality Acts; and they inform employees about their right to equal treatment in the workplace.