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Federal government abolishes mandatory retirement except where it is bona fide occupational requirement

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The federal government has abolished mandatory retirement in federally regulated workplaces except where it is a bona fide occupational requirement ("BFOR").

For more on this development, see this article by Michelle S. Henry at Borden Ladner Gervais: "Elimination of Mandatory Retirement for Federally Regulated Employees (December 2011).

And see also
this article by Ralph N. Nero and Keri L. Bennett at Faskens:  "Another Gong Sounds for the End to Mandatory Retirement" (January 11, 2011).

This is the text of a news release issued by the Canadian Human Rights Commission on December 16, 2011:

Government of Canada Strikes Down Mandatory Retirement

The Canadian Human Rights Commission welcomes the Government of Canada's decisive action in moving to repeal sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canada Labour Code that permit employers to force employees to retire once they reach a certain age, regardless of their ability to do the job.

"We're not born with date stamps saying our fitness for work expires at 65,"  David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission said. "Age discrimination is discrimination, pure and simple."

The repeal of the mandatory retirement provisions in Canadian law was contained in the Budget Implementation Act, which has now received Royal Assent.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has called for repeal of the mandatory retirement provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act since 1979.

All Canadian jurisdictions, with the exception of the federal jurisdiction and New Brunswick, have since abolished mandatory retirement. Many federally regulated employers as well as the federal public service abolished it on their own initiative. To date there has been no evidence of any significant detrimental impact on employers, pensions, safety, or job progression.

As Canada's boomer generation ages, more and more people want to continue to work past retirement age, whether for personal or financial reasons.