Canada: Nearing the End of Mandatory Retirement

Last Updated: November 24 2006
Article by Joe Morrison

On December 12, 2006, Bill 211 comes into force effectively ending mandatory retirement. As you may be aware, the Minister of Labour introduced Bill 211, the Ending Mandatory Retirement Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 ("Act") to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on June 7, 2005. The legislation was proposed to end the practice of mandatory retirement in Ontario "while not undermining existing pension, benefit and early retirement rights". It was designed to afford those who are 65 years of age and older the same opportunity to earn a living and contribute to society enjoyed by younger workers.

While the Human Rights Code currently permits age-based discrimination in employment with respect to employees who are under 18 or who are older than 65 years, the Act will amend the definition of "age" for the purposes of age discrimination under the Code to protect employees aged 65 or older from being forced to retire, except in those cases where an employer can justify the decision based on a bona fide occupational requirement ("BFOR"). Therefore, individual employment contracts, collective agreements and corporate policies with mandatory requirement provisions will no longer be enforceable as of December 12, 2006 unless such an age-based requirement is necessary for employees to meet this job requirement and the accommodation of employees over the age of 65 would cause the employer undue hardship.

Given that the Act will come into force on December 12 of this year, the following is a brief summary of the changes that will take place on that date for you to review so you can determine whether or not you have taken the necessary steps to ensure your current employment and benefit arrangements comply with the new legislation.

Termination Of Employment

  • Under the current Employment Standards Act, 2000 ("ESA"), an employee whose employment is terminated at age 65 as a result of a mandatory retirement policy or practice is not entitled to notice of termination or termination pay. Once Bill 211 takes effect, however, all eligible employees, regardless of age, will be entitled to receive notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice if their employment is terminated without cause. Further, certain employees over the age of 65 may also be entitled to severance packages in excess of ESA requirements where so required either by the common law or an employment contract.
  • In a unionized workplace, where existing collective agreements contain mandatory retirement provisions, such provisions will no longer be enforceable once the Act comes into force.
  • Although collective agreements will no longer be permitted to include provisions requiring mandatory retirement, except where mandatory retirement is permitted under the Code as a BFOR, unions and employers may still negotiate "voluntary" retirement packages with employees.

Employment Benefits

  • The amendments to the Code will not affect an employee’s entitlement to benefits. The ESA currently permits an employer to discriminate on the basis of age in providing benefits to employees aged 18 to 64. As this provision will remain in place following the coming into force of the Act, life insurance, disability benefits and health and dental coverage need not be extended to employees aged 65 or older. Following December 12, 2006, it will therefore be important to provide employees with advance notice of any cessation of benefits coverage to reduce the risk of employee claims.
  • Although the ESA provisions respecting benefits coverage will not change following the coming into force of the Act, an employer may still opt to continue benefits coverage for workers aged 65 and older should its insurance carrier offer such an option.
  • Employees over the age of 65 will continue to be eligible for the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, however, as coverage under the plan is not affected by a group benefit plan provided by an employer.

Pension Benefits

  • The amendments to the Code will not have an impact on pension benefits already earned, as the Act has no retroactive effect.
  • After December 12, 2006, however, employees over the age of 65 may continue membership in pension plans and accrue benefits subject to service or contribution caps of the pension plan. The Income Tax Act also does not permit an employee to defer his or her retirement income attributable to pension plans beyond age 69. Therefore, although pensions can be postponed beyond age 65, they must be paid out at 69 years, and those who continue to be employed past age 69 would collect both a salary and a pension at the same time.
  • The coming into force of the Act also does not affect an employee’s entitlement to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits at age 65. CPP, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement are all administered by the federal government and any change in eligibility criteria would fall within the federal jurisdiction.

Workplace Safety and Insurance

  • The aged-based provisions in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 and its regulations and policies will continue to apply despite the coming into force of the Act and the amendments to the Code. Therefore, employees who are aged 63 years or younger at the time of their injury would still be entitled to loss of earnings (LOE) benefits until age 65. Employees aged 63 years or older at the time of injury will also continue to be eligible to receive LOE benefits for a maximum of two years.

The coming into force of the Act on December 12, 2006 requires certain changes be made within the workplace, including the revision of employment policies, collective agreements and benefits plans. Employers will now be required to accommodate age-related illnesses and disabilities. Given that these changes may give rise to a number of issues unique to your organization or workforce, we would be happy to assist you with any questions you might have.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions