Saskatchewan passes law to end mandatory retirement

Forcible retirement at age 65 will soon be eliminated in most workplaces in Saskatchewan.

Forcible retirement at age 65 will soon beeliminatedin most workplaces in Saskatchewan.

An amendment to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code received royal assent on Thursday and goes into effect on Nov. 17.

Currently, companies under provincial jurisdiction can require employees to retire at 65 without violating the code. With the change, mandatory retirement will be considered discriminatory.

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Frank Quennell said the law recognizes that older workers have experience and expertise, and can make meaningful contributions to the economy.

Saskatchewan joins Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, where mandatory retirement at 65 is discriminatory under local human rights legislation.

Despite the amendment, the Saskatchewan law has exemptions so that mandatory retirement is allowed in jobs such as police work and firefighting in whichphysical ability is required.

The province says it's allowing six months before the change takes effect to give employers time to adjust.