Employers Need To Justify Termination


    Being able to demonstrate that a termination or other employment-related action was based on something other than age will only become increasingly important, says Fasken Martineau’s ‘The HR Space: Managing the End to Mandatory Retirement.’ It says the federal government is about to join most of the provinces in making mandatory retirement, for the most part, unlawful. The deadline is December 15. However, earlier this year, the Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a news release cautioning employers against using the time leading up to December 15 to force employees to retire before they are ready to. It said that the “transition period should not be viewed as a licence to force aging workers out the door. Forcing someone to retire because of their age clearly contradicts parliament’s intent, even if a defence in the law still appears to be available.” As a result, it may be more prudent for federally regulated employers to govern themselves in the regime that will exist following December 15 where they may still offer voluntary retirement programs and may be able to justify mandatory retirement where they are able to show a bona fide work requirement. As well, employers should start implementing effective performance management programs for all their employees, including older employees.