New legislation will give Nova Scotia workers the option to retire or to continue to work when they reach the age of 65. Under An Act Respecting the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement, most employers will no longer be permitted to have mandatory retirement policies. “This change will allow seniors in Nova Scotia, to continue their contribution to the work force, if that is their wish,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Environment and Labour. “Experienced workers are a valuable resource, especially in our labour market where the skills shortage is a real concern.” This act will be of particular importance to some immigrant workers and others whose careers began late in life or were interrupted. It will also assist parents who take childcare leave from the workforce. Those groups may want to continue working longer to maximize their contributions to the Canada Pension Plan. The proposed law allows for some exemptions from the change. Employers may have mandatory retirement policies if a worker’s age will significantly affect the ability to perform the duties of a job, such as firefighter, pilot, or police officer. The Human Rights Commission will have the role of deciding if mandatory retirement is or is not justifiable. The Labour Standards Code and the Human Rights Act will be amended to remove or change the mandatory retirement provisions. Eligibility for retirement under pension plans will not be affected by the legislation. The act will apply to rules on mandatory retirement ages that may be in collective agreements. These amendments will not come into force until one year after proclamation of the act. This gives employers and employees time to make necessary changes such as revising human resources policies and implementing performance management standards.