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Ontario One Step Closer to Ending Mandatory Retirement
January 11, 2006

Bill 211, the Ending Mandatory Retirement Statute Law Amendment Act., has passed third reading in the Ontario Legislature. The Act will amend the Ontario Human Rights Code and other employment statutes in that province, to ban mandatory retirement by no longer permitting employers to discriminate against employees aged 65 and over.

The Act will come into effect on December 12, 2006, in order to give employers and others time to change their policies and practices to comply with the new requirements.

With this new statute, Ontario will join a growing list of Canadian jurisdictions that have banned mandatory retirement, including Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon.

Five provinces, including British Columbia, continue to have human rights legislation that permits mandatory retirement at or after age 65. Public sector employers must be cautious in this area, however, as their mandatory retirement policies may be subject to challenge under Section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.