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Termination of Employment in Canada

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Canadian employment standards are regulated by the province. The province of British Columbia is required to follow B.C. Employment Standards Act.

According to B.C. Employment Standards Act an employee can be terminated with a written notice or compensation based on length of service.

Compensation for terminated employees are as follows:

  • One week’s pay after three consecutive months of employment
  • Two week’s pay After 12 consecutive months of employment
  • After three consecutive years – three weeks’ pay, plus one week’s pay for each additional year of employment.

Compensation to the employee can be avoided by providing a written notice of termination equal to the number of weeks of eligibility of the employee

Notice or compensation is not required if:

  • Less than three consecutive months of employment
  • The employee quits or retires
  • The employee is dismissed for just cause
  • The employee works on an on-call basis doing temporary assignments, which he or she can accept or reject
  • Is employed for a definite term
  • Is hired for specific work to be completed in 12 months or less
  • It is impossible to perform the work because of some unforeseeable event or circumstance
  • An employer whose principal business is construction employs the employee at one or more construction sites
  • The employee refuses reasonable alternative employment
  • The employee is a teacher employed by a board of school trustees

Temporary layoff is permitted by the terms and conditions of employment, the Act applies to limit it to:

  • A layoff of up to 13 weeks in a period of 20 weeks, or
  • A period in which an employee covered by a collective agreement has the right to be recalled.
  • If an employee’s hours are reduced, a week of layoff is a week in which an employee earns less than 50 percent of his or her weekly wages at the regular rate, averaged over the previous eight weeks.

A temporary layoff becomes a termination when:

  • it exceeds 13 weeks in any period of 20 consecutive weeks
  • the recall period for an employee covered by a collective agreement is exceeded.

When a temporary layoff becomes a termination, the beginning of the layoff is the termination date and the employee’s entitlement to compensation for length of service is based on that date.

Group terminations

If more than 50 employees are to be terminated, a written group termination notice is to be given to each employee, and a copy to be submitted to the minister of labor and trade unions associated with the employees. Group termination notice is to be given as a separate notice, not to coincide with individual notice.

Final wages, such as outstanding wages, annual vacation pay, statutory holidays and overtime, must be paid within 48 hours after the last day of an employee’s work.

If an employee quits, final wages must be paid to the employee within six days after the employee’s last day of work. The Act does not require the employee to give notice to the employer. But, if an employee gives notice, the employer must pay compensation for the remaining amount of notice the employee has given, or the employee’s statutory entitlement under the Act.

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Termination of employment in Canada. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2023, from
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