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Government of Canada Highlights Prohibition of Mandatory Retirement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/14/12 -- A year ago tomorrow, Parliament passed the Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act which provides additional protection to older workers who wish to remain in the workforce. On December 15, 2012, the prohibition of mandatory retirement for federally regulated employees comes into force.

"Many Canadian seniors are living a healthy and active lifestyle and wish to remain active in the labour force," said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labour Minister. "Our government took action and removed potential barriers faced by older workers who enrich the workplace with their accumulated knowledge and experience."

Specifically, the Act amended the Canada Labour Code to ensure employees receive severance pay upon involuntary termination regardless of age and pension eligibility.

"Canadian workers don't come with 'best before' dates stamped on their foreheads," said Mr. David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. "These amendments protect the important principle that age discrimination is prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act and that retirement is a personal decision," he said.

The Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to remove provisions that allow mandatory retirement. The elimination of blanket defences for mandatory retirement in the federal jurisdiction is a step forward and is consistent with provincial and territorial human rights legislation. Additional information can be found on the Labour Program's website at www.labour.gc.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

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Contacts:
Ashley Kelahear
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Raitt
819-953-5646

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559

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