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Premier’s Council Recommends Eliminating Mandatory Retirement
January 23, 2007

An advisory body to the British Columbia premier has recommended an amendment to the Human Rights Codewhich would eliminate mandatory retirement in the province.

Currently, the Code does not protect individuals aged 65 and over from discrimination in employment on the basis of age. As a result, employer policies which require workers to retire at age 65 cannot be challenged as discriminatory under the Code.

In its report Aging Well in British Columbia, the Premier’s Council on Aging and Seniors’ Issues urges a new view of aging which would recognize the contribution that older adults make to communities and the workplace. The report recommends several changes to ensure that older adults remain active and integrated in their communities.

Among the recommendations is a call for government to immediately amend the Code to extend human rights protections to those over the age of 65, thereby eliminating mandatory retirement in B.C. Several provinces have recently made similar amendments to their human rights legislation or have announced an intention to do so.