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No matter how much you dislike your job, there are many reasons why it is best not to quit altogether. What follows are the top three reasons why such a decision may not be in your best interest, particularly if there is no other employment opportunity waiting for you.

1. No Work = No Income and No Benefits

This is a pretty obvious one, but if you quit your job you will no longer have an income to support yourself and your family. Especially in the Ottawa area, employment opportunities have remained static for quite some time. With so many people competing for the same job, it may not be financially wise for you to leave yours.

Furthermore, most employers offer benefit plans to their employees. If you quit your job, you will lose these benefits. Therefore, unless you purchase an individual policy, which can be quite expensive, you may end up in financial hardship should you injure yourself or become ill after your last day of work.

2. No Employment Insurance (“EI”)

Even though you may have banked enough insurable hours while working for your last employer, if you choose to quit your job, you will not be able to access these hours in order to claim Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits. In order to have access to these benefits, your employment needs to have been terminated for some other reason. Note that not all reasons necessarily entitle you to benefits, but quitting will necessarily disentitle you to them. Without these benefits or another employment opportunity, severe financial hardship is a very real possibility.

3. Notice and Severance Entitlements Extinguished

Under both the provincial and federal employment schemes, an employee terminated without cause is entitled to notice of their termination, or pay in lieu thereof, in addition to severance (should they qualify), or entitled to the even more substantial reasonable notice at common law. The length of your service determines your notice period entitlement, and the same period is used, among other factors, to determine your severance entitlements, if any. This is similarly true for your entitlements pursuant to the common law. Since these entitlements are proportionate to your length of service, quitting your job means that you are giving up all banked time that could have otherwise been financially useful had you been terminated without cause. Certain situations, such as returning to the same employer, may be treated differently.

On a similar note, if you quit your job, you are not entitled to receive any sort of package from your employer. You may nevertheless be able to negotiate such a package prior to quitting, especially if your employer wants you out, but they have no legal obligation to offer you such a package.

Prior to making the decision to quit your employment, take the time to speak with an employment lawyer. Unless you have another job waiting for you, we can always try and negotiate an exit package for you instead of having you simply walk away. In a similar vein, prior to quitting your employment and accepting a position elsewhere, the employment contract being offered to you should be reviewed by an employment lawyer, as that is the time when you actually have some useful negotiating power with your potential new employer.

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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