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Firings & Layoffs


Firings and Layoffs

Do I get notice before I'm let go?

You are entitled to a written notice:
  • If you're let go, or if you're laid off for six months or more; and
  • If you've been employed continuously for three months or more.

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 1 year -- 1 week
1 year to 5 years -- 2 weeks
5 years to 10 years -- 4 weeks
10 years or more -- 8 weeks

Do I get paid?

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

Your employer can give you a combination of notice and pay that equals the number of weeks' pay you're eligible for.

When do I get paid?

If you qualify for termination pay above, you must be paid:
  • When your job ends. Or,
  • At the time you're laid off if your layoff is expected to last more than 6 months. Or,
  • At the end of 6 months after an indefinite layoff, or a layoff that was expected to last 6 months but lasted longer.

If you belong to a union and you have recall rights in your collective agreement for more than 6 months, different rules apply. You must be paid by one of these dates, whichever comes first:
  • The day your recall privileges expire.
  • 1 year after layoff.

You won't get termination pay if:
  • You're recalled before your boss has to pay you, and you work for a period equal to or longer than your notice period.
  • You're not recalled because of forces beyond your employer's control.

What are the exceptions to termination notice?

You aren't entitled to termination notice if:
  • You worked for your employer less than 3 months.
  • You committed a serious wrong.
  • There's a lack of work you're employer couldn't foresee or control.
  • You were on contract and the term of your contract is over.
  • You've finished the specific task you were hired to do and so your contract is considered over.

How can I find out more?

Contact Labour Standards of Quebec at:
Hall est, 7e étage
400, boul. Jean Lesage
Québec (Québec) G1K 8W1
Telephone : (418) 644 0817
Toll free: 1 800 563 9058
Fax : (418) 643 5132

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