Notice of Termination and Severance

Helping you determine notice and severance requirements

Nelligan O’Brien Payne’s employment lawyers and consultants understand that employment is central to a person’s overall wellbeing. Reasonable notice of termination and severance is important when employment comes to an end, providing a financial cushion to help employees transition to new work.

If your employer has terminated your employment, or you are an employer who is considering dismissing an employee, you will have a lot of questions. Most employees in Canada are entitled to receive notice of termination unless they are being dismissed for just cause. The amount of notice and severance to which an employee may be entitled depends on many factors, and each situation is very fact specific.

To determine the amount of notice an employee may be entitled to, we start by determining whether the employer is federally or provincially regulated, and determining the employee’s minimum statutory entitlements. Most workplaces in the private sector in Ontario are regulated by the provincial Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). This Act sets out minimum employment standards including entitlements to notice and severance pay. Federally regulated employers are subject to the requirements of the Canada Labour Code (CLC). We also consider the employee’s common law entitlements, as determined by the courts. Common law reasonable notice is determined by an employee’s particular circumstances, and tends to be longer than the statutory notice period. The most relevant factors are the employee’s age, length of service, and compensation and the nature of their position.

An employee may receive working notice, pay in lieu of notice equivalent to the value of salary and benefits that would have otherwise been provided during the notice period, or a combination of both. Notice may be limited by the terms of an employment contract, so long as the contract is enforceable and meets the minimum requirements of the relevant employment standards legislation. For this reason, it is important for employees and employers to carefully consider any limits to notice entitlements that are included in an employment offer or contract. Our experienced employment lawyers can help you determine appropriate notice and severance requirements.

How can our employment lawyers help you?

Thank you for your interest in our employment law services. If you require more information on notice of termination or severance, our skilled employment lawyers can help. Please send us an email or call us at 613-238-8080, or toll-free at 833-892-3331. Our friendly staff will help you find the right employment lawyer to handle your matter.

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