Changes to the Employer Justified Retirement Age policy

anne trefethen

During the last year we have all had the opportunity to engage with the 10-year review of the Employer Justified Retirement Age policy (EJRA) – through the online questionnaire, Town Hall meetings or direct interaction with the Chair, David Paterson, or through the Review Group as a whole.

David and the Review Group have worked hard on our behalf to provide an open and transparent evaluation of the policy. The group, made up of representatives from across the collegiate University, were asked to consider the aims of the policy, its impact and any alternatives, before making recommendations as to how the University can best manage retirement and meet its aims in future. The work of the group and the resulting report can be found on the EJRA Review website

The record of the Review Group’s meetings and the data collected illustrate clearly that they kept to their three principles: to act independently, to be evidence-driven and to be consultative. They collected and considered a broad range of evidence and took time to hear views and to consider all inputs carefully. 

The recommendations of the Review Group’s findings were considered at Personnel Committee, where all points were approved to recommend to Council together with the recommendation to raise the retirement age by one year, to the date of 30 September before the 70th birthday.

Review Group recommendations 

Based on their review of the evidence, the Review Group’s recommendations included that the EJRA is retained for those employed as Statutory Professors, Associate Professors, RSIVs (the most senior researchers), their clinical equivalents and the Vice-Chancellor; and that those in grades 8 to 10 and ALC6 (the senior administrative grade) and their clinical equivalents are removed from the scope of the EJRA. The group also recommended that the application process for extending employment beyond the retirement age be adapted to better support those whose careers have been impacted by caring responsibilities, disability or other personal circumstances, to ensure space constraints do not prevent recruitment to posts vacated by the EJRA and that the process itself be communicated more effectively and transparently. For the full set of recommendations, please see the report

The proposed changes are subject to Congregation approval in Michaelmas term and will be published in the Gazette on 21 July 2022. If the adjustments to the policy are agreed, the change in scope to remove grades 8 to 10 and ALC6 will take effect immediately and the new retirement age, raised by one year, will apply from 1 October 2023 for those roles that are still within scope. 

Transition to the new policy 

I am sure many of you will have questions regarding the amended policy and how it might apply to you – a transition plan to take us from the old to the amended policy is being developed to provide clarity for those who have already applied for extension through EJRA and those who are considering applying. Once the plan has been agreed by Personnel Committee in Michaelmas term, an FAQ and further communications will be published.

This is a policy on which we have, in the past, had a great deal of debate and I hope that you will agree that David Paterson and the Review Group have shown a great deal of respect for that debate in the consultative and open way they have delivered the 10 year review. Many thanks to all involved.