ECJ Gives Guidance on Justifying Compulsory Retirement

David Reid
29th Jul 2011

A new decision of the European Court of Justice (Fuchs V Land Hessen) has given some useful guidance on what might amount to ‘justification’ under the EU Framework Directive on Equal Treatment.

Couple retirement

The court has decided that a provision of German law stipulating a retirement age of 65 for permanent civil servant prosecutors did not breach the Directive. It found that the aims of establishing a balanced age structure, encouraging the recruitment and promotion of young people and avoiding performance disputes with older workers, were legitimate social policy aims being pursued by appropriate means.


While any decision in this developing area is welcome the sorts of aims being pursued by the German state have all previously been held to be potentially justifiable.

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