Firings and Layoffs
Do I get notice before I’m fired or laid off? Yes, but only if you’ve been employed continuously for 6 months or more. This gives you the right to written notice or to pay if notice is not given. How much notice you get depends on how long you’ve been working at the same place.
(Note: If you belong to a union, check your collective agreement. You’ll likely have better notice and termination pay clauses than the minimums found in the law. You’ll also have the right to fight an unjust firing through your grievance procedure. And you probably will also have severance pay provisions.)
Length of employment -- Notice required
Less than 6 months -- None
6 months to 5 years -- 2 weeks
5 years or more -- 4 weeks
If you end up working at the same place for 1 month or more beyond the notice period, then the notice becomes void. Your boss can then lay you off only after giving you new notice.
Do I get paid? If you don’t get proper written notice, you get paid for the number of weeks of notice you should have received.
Are there exceptions to termination notice? Yes. You don’t have a right to notice if:
- The layoff is for 6 days or less.
- You’re fired for just cause. (Your boss has to give you the reasons for your firing in writing.)
- You’re working in construction.
- There’s a lack of work your employer couldn’t foresee or control.
- You were hired for a specific assignment not lasting more than 12 months.
- You completed a definite term of work in a contract (unless your still working for 3 months or more beyond that time).
- Your work is seasonal and you’re laid off due to the normal seasonal slow down, closure or suspension of work.
- Your employer made you another reasonable job offer and you said “no."
When do I get paid? Once your job ends, you must get everything that’s owed to you no later than your normal pay day. The law also says your employer can’t delay paying you beyond 21 days after the last time you were paid.
Are there different rules for group layoffs? Yes. There’s a special rule if more than10 workers are being laid off in a 4- week period and they make up at least 25% of the employer’s workforce. In that case, your boss must give at least 6 weeks notice to the Minister of Labour, and to the workers who are being laid off. If the workers are unionized, notice must also be given to the union. If the union contract has a longer notice period than 6 months, then the longer notice period applies.
Your boss must post the notice so that it’s available to all workers.
How do I get more information? You can get employment standards information toll free at 1 888 452 2687.