In years past there was an expectation that when a worker reached 65 years of age, he or she would retire to enjoy the golden years. Today, retirement at 65 is no longer a reality for most working Canadians. The high cost of living, uncertain economy, and legislated end to mandatory retirement has meant more and more Canadians are working later in life.
Canadian courts are also taking note of this new reality, in some cases, awarding enhanced wrongful dismissal damages to older workers in recognition of the difficulty they can have finding new employment. The practice of providing skilled workers greater notice than less skilled workers is also under review as courts increasingly recognize that, in the present economy, lower skilled jobs are not as plentiful as they once were. Neither of these scenarios is good news. Fortunately, there are steps employers can take now to protect their organization from uncertainty in the future. Consider two recent (2013) decisions of the Ontario Superior Court: