Can you ask an elderly member of staff to retire?

What should you do if an elderly staff member is not performing well?
What should you do if an elderly staff member is not performing well?

Do you have enough HR knowledge to correctly answer this workplace dilemma?

You employ a pharmacy technician who is in her 70s and has worked at your pharmacy for many years. She is reliable, but fairly slow and set in her ways, and you are keen to build a more dynamic team and grow the business.

She has never raised the issue of retirement, but you feel the time has come. Can you ask her to retire?

Answer C+D's poll:


Can you ask an elderly member of your pharmacy team to retire?
Total votes: 71

The answer will be published by C+D later this month.

This HR dilemma was originally posted on the Accord Academy website, part of Accord Healthcare Ltd

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Adverse events should also be reported to Accord on 01271 385257.

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Have you dealt with this issue in the past?

Margaret O'doherty, Community pharmacist

If you want to grow the business getting rid of a staff member customers come in to see isn’t the best way to go about it. Many customers don’t want to deal with young ‘dynamic team members’ who have no life experience and lack empathy. Speed isn’t everything.

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Just do what every single community pharmacy ever does with their most useless member of staff - make them the delivery driver!

david williams, Community pharmacist

This is a problem in many aspects of life. As Sir John Harvey Jones said "if the people won't change, change the people". It is how you do it is the issue. You must give every person the training and opportunity to change. If they are not capable or don't want to, then you can appraise and manage out on competancy issues. You must however give them a fair chance to adapt and not be prejudicial. The need of the organisation are vital in ensuring that safety is paramount

Jacqueline Davies, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

As with all jobs, the employee has to change with the times, if that person cannot do that it becomes a breech of their contract despite age.

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