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The Canada Labour Code provides Canadian employers with guidelines for a number of employment related issues. When it comes to terminations, layoffs, or dismissals the code is very clear on what is and is not appropriate for an employer. Knowing this information is important for conducting business across Canada and ensuring the proper and fair treatment of all employees. For a more detailed look at the code, we recommending checking with the government labour program. Here is a quick look at the requirements.

  • Notice required. An employee is not responsible for providing notice if they choose to quit a job, however if the employer is making the decision to terminate the relationship they are required to do so. They can opt for providing the employee with a two week notice in writing or pay them for the two weeks without having them continue to work. These regulations are in place to protect employees from unjust terminations.
  • Group terminations. If an employer needs to eliminate jobs for a group of employees, they are required to provide written documentation to the Minister of Labour as well as all of the employees affected. However, the minister can grant an exception under certain circumstances including but not limited to situations where notice could be detrimental to operations of the business.
  • Severance pay. Employees are entitled to a severance package only after they have worked for one year with the employer. This must be measured in consecutive months. The minimum benefit is 5 days wages but employees qualify for 2 days of pay for each full year they have worked. Employers can learn more about severance pay and the requirements by reaching out to the Labour Program.
  • An unjust dismissal. If an employee feels that their employment has been terminated without just cause, they are able to file a complaint with the labour program within 90 days of the termination. An unjust dismissal may occur if an employer fails to comply with the employment contract, or has substantially changed the terms of employment.

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