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Mandatory Retirement for Federal Employers to Be Abolished by Year’s End
January 6, 2012

Bill C-13, Budget Implementation Act (short title: Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act), received Royal Assent on December 15, 2011.

The Bill will repeal sections 9(2) and 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which currently permit federally regulated employers to dismiss employees who reach the normal age of retirement in their industry. These provisions are an exception to the prohibition under the Act against age discrimination. Once the changes take effect, federal employers will be prohibited from requiring employees to retire at a certain age unless doing so is a bona fide occupational requirement.

The Bill will also repeal section 235(2)(b) of the Canada Labour Code, which denies federally regulated employees the right to severance pay if they are entitled to a pension upon termination.

The amendments to both statutes come into force on December 15, 2012. Once this occurs, all Canadian jurisdictions, with the exception of New Brunswick, will have abolished mandatory retirement.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Michael Coady, Partner.