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Firings & Layoffs

Northwest Territories

Firings and Layoffs

Do I get notice before I'm let go?

Yes, but only if you've been employed continuously for 90 days 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 3 months -- None
3 months to 3 years -- 2 weeks
3 years or more -- an additional week for each additional year of work, up to 8 weeks

Once you get notice, your boss can't change any condition of your job, including your wage rate. The notice period can't overlap with your vacation.

After notice is given, and until the last day of work, you must be paid the same wages and benefits you would usually get, even if you're not required to work.

A notice of termination is void and of no effect if an employee continues to work after date the notice of termination.

Do I get paid?

If you don't get proper notice, you get paid wages and benefits for the number of weeks of notice you should have received.

Are there exceptions to termination notice?

Yes. You aren't entitled to the above termination notice if:
  • you have worked for your employer less than 3 months
  • you are on temporary lay-off
  • you are on temporary lay-off and don't return to work 7 days after your boss asks you to
  • your employer made you another reasonable job offer and you said "no"
  • you are fired for just cause
  • you work in the construction industry
  • for less than 180 days in a year, seasonally or intermittently
  • you work for a definite term or task for a period not exceeding a year
  • you work for less than 25 hours in a week
  • a domestic worker doing work where your employer normally resides
  • you are a student doing a work program

What about temporary layoffs?

A temporary layoff can't be longer than 45 days in any period of 60 days in a row–unless you're recalled within a time fixed by LEmployment Standards. Your boss has to give written notice of the temporary layoff and the expected date you'll be called back to work. If this notice isn't given, the layoff becomes a termination. The temporary layoff also becomes a termination if it lasts longer than the allowed time period. If the temporary layoff becomes permanent, your original layoff date becomes your termination date. You're eligible for pay as indicated above.

Are there different rules for group layoffs?

Yes. If your employer wants to lay off 25 or more workers within a 4-week period, you must get written notice of at least:
  • 4 weeks for less than 50 workers.
  • 8 weeks, for between 50 and 99 workers.
  • 12 weeks, for between 100 and 299 workers.
  • 16 weeks, for 300 or more workers.

You must also get an individual lay-off notice.

How do I get more information?

Please see the Northwest Territories Employment Standards Act and Regulations.

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