Disciplining a worker who’s approaching retirement (Toughest HR question)

Employers can no longer count on mandatory retirement to get rid of under-performing employees
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/14/2010

Question: I have an employee who is on a performance improvement plan but has not been successful. The employee is planning to retire in two years. What should we do?

Answer: This question raises an interesting issue, the answer to which combines legal and practical concerns. It is not unlike the situation many employers faced prior to the abolition of mandatory retirement.

In that case, workers approaching the age of retirement often slowed down and their employers saw their performance deteriorate over time. However, employers were also mindful of the fact these workers would be retiring in the not-too-distant future. As a result, many, if not most, employers in those situation chose to turn a blind eye to the deteriorating performance, allowing the employee to continue in her position and retire with dignity.