Notice of termination of employment and indemnity
An employer must give workers the required length of notice of termination of employment when they are terminated, dismissed or laid off for a period of more than 6 months.
An employer is not required to give notice of termination of employment if:
- the worker has completed the task for which they had been hired
- the worker has been terminated or laid off as a result of force majeure, such as a fire
- the worker has been found guilty of grave misconduct justifying their immediate dismissal
- the employment contract is a fixed-term contract
- the worker is credited with less than 3 months of uninterrupted service
Notice of termination of employment must also be given to anyone included in a collective dismissal.
Required length of notice of termination of employment
The notice period varies depending on the length of the worker's uninterrupted service.
Uninterrupted service refers to the uninterrupted period during which a worker is bound to their employer by an employment contract even if the performance of the work was temporarily interrupted by a layoff.
|Length of uninterrupted service||Length of time between the notice and the worker’s departure|
|3 months to one year||1 week|
|1 to 5 years||2 weeks|
|5 to 10 years||4 weeks|
|10 years or more||8 weeks|
For example, a person who was hired on February 8 and laid off on July 7 will be entitled to one week's notice, for they are credited with 3 months of uninterrupted service. Uninterrupted service is calculated in calendar months.
The annual vacation period may not be included in the notice period.
The worker's benefits must be maintained during the notice period.
Invalidity of notice of termination of employment while laid off
Notice of termination of employment is not valid if it is given to a worker while they are laid off, except in the case of seasonal job that does not usually last more than 6 months a year.
An employer who does not give sufficient notice must pay the worker an indemnity. The indemnity must be equal to the regular wages they would have earned between the date on which the notice should have been provided and the termination of their employment. Overtime must not be included when calculating the indemnity.
The indemnity must be paid at the time of termination of employment or at the time of the next pay.
A worker who resigns before the date of termination of employment is not entitled to an indemnity for the remaining weeks of the notice period following their resignation.
Special provisions for calculating the indemnity in the event of a layoff
In the case of a layoff that is expected to last less than 6 months but which, in the end, lasts longer, the indemnity must be paid no later than 6 months after the layoff date. The same rule applies for a layoff for an indefinite length of time.
A worker who has recall rights for more than 6 months under a collective agreement and who was laid off for more than 6 months may claim their indemnity if they did not receive a layoff notice:
- when their recall rights expire if they were not recalled to work
- one year after being laid off
The worker is not entitled to the indemnity if they:
- are recalled to work before the date the employer is required to pay them the indemnity and if they then work for a period of time at least equal to that of the notice
- were not recalled to work as a result of force majeure
Certificate of employment
When their employment is terminated, a worker may require their employer to give them a certificate of employment describing their duties and the length of their employment. The certificate must also contain the employer’s name and address.
The certificate is not a letter of reference. It does not describe the quality of the worker’s work or conduct.