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Canada: Termination of employment

Original author: Miller Thomson
Updating author: Alexander Ognibene, McCarthy T├ętrault

Consultant editors: Michael Comartin and Emily Cohen-Gallant, Ogletree Deakins

See the legal services provided by the authors/consultant editors of XpertHR International > Canada, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • An official Record of Employment form, detailing the employee's employment history, must be issued by employers in all jurisdictions to employees who have ceased working and therefore experienced an interruption to earnings. (See General)
  • Where employers dismiss employees with notice, each jurisdiction provides for a minimum period of notice, in the case of employees covered by employment standards legislation. (See Notice periods)
  • Subject to the terms of their employment contracts, employees can generally be dismissed "without cause" at any time if the employer provides the appropriate notice of dismissal, or payment in lieu of notice. (See Dismissal without cause)
  • An employer has "just cause" to dismiss an employee when the employee's misconduct is so severe that it has irreparably damaged the employment relationship and, where an employer has just cause for dismissal, it is not generally required to give the employee notice of termination, or payment in lieu of notice. (See Dismissal with cause)
  • A lay-off is considered to be temporary provided that it does not exceed the maximum lay-off timeframes. (See Lay-offs)
  • While no special procedures or payments apply to individual redundancies, employment standards legislation in all jurisdictions except Prince Edward Island contains specific rules on "group termination". (See Redundancy)
  • The concept of constructive dismissal permits employees to resign and sue their employer for wrongful dismissal following changes to key terms of their employment. (See Constructive dismissal)
  • Only the federal jurisdiction and Ontario provide for statutory severance pay (which differs from "termination pay", which is a payment in lieu of notice) for employees on termination of employment. (See Severance payments)
  • The avenues for employees to challenge their dismissal depend in many cases on whether or not the employee was employed in the unionised sector - that is, at a unionised workplace covered by a collective agreement. (See Contesting dismissals)