Volume 50 (2013) / Issue 5
Elaine Dewhurst, 'Intergenerational balance, mandatory retirement and age discrimination in Europe: How can the ECJ better support national courts in finding a balance between the generations?' (2013) 50 Common Market Law Review, Issue 5, pp. 1333–1362
This paper addresses the rather vexed question of intergenerational balance, a balance which has become increasingly more difficult to achieve as a result of the impact of the financial crisis and the demographic crisis in Europe. More particularly, the paper examines the approach of European Union law to the issue of mandatory retirement, an approach which has generally left national courts with the difficult task of balancing the rights of older workers against the claims of younger workers with limited guidance from the ECJ as to how this can be achieved. Through an analysis of the legislative and judicial approach of the European Union and through an examination of the empirical evidence relating to the impact of mandatory retirement policies on intergenerational balance, it is concluded that while the European Union's current approach is justifiable, more specific guidance should be given to national courts to assist them in determining this problematic question. Recommendations as to the scope and content of such guidance are made.
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