The End of Mandatory Retirement: Understanding the Changes to the BC Human Rights Code


October 2007

On April 25, 2007, the British Columbia Provincial Government introduced Bill 31, the Human Rights Code (Mandatory Retirement Elimination) Amendment Act, 2007, which will take effect on January 1, 2008. This change reflects the demographic reality that the number of British Columbians over the age of 65 in the next 25 years will double, and means that British Columbia’s position on mandatory retirement will fall in line with most of the other provinces in Canada.

While the changes to the Code will have some positive results for employers and the economy in general, there are however, some significant human resources implications and costs associated with the elimination of an employer’s right to require employees to retire at age 65. The purpose of this paper is to explain the changes to the Code, implications of those changes to employers, and to offer some practical suggestions as to what companies should start thinking about in anticipation of January 1, 2008.

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