Increasing the age for retirement dismissals: An employee can be dismissed on reaching age 72. In certain situations, the retirement age can be lower, provided it does not fall below age 67. Such a situation will exist: (a) where the staff are familiar with the lower age limit; (b) the retirement age is consistently applied by the employer; and (c) the employees have access to an adequate pension scheme.
From 1 July 2016, it will still be possible to have a retirement age lower than 72, but it must not be lower than age 70.
(1) Employers should review their current retirement policy and amend it where necessary so it complies with the July changes.
(2) If making use of the lower age limit, discuss the increase to age 70 with the employee representatives.
Regulation of restrictive covenants: New legislation on restrictive covenants is expected in 2016. The specific date is not yet known. The new rules are expected to include the following: (a) a new one year limit on restrictive covenant duration; (b) a requirement to compensate the employee for a non-compete clause; and (c) new requirements to provide employees with a written statement about the covenants.
(1) If the law is amended, employers will need to review the employment contracts and factor in the new requirements when drafting covenants for new hires.
(2) For covenants that have already been entered into, the rules are likely to apply to them, but not until they have been in force for a year. Employers should monitor this for developments.