Can we require employees to give the termination notice required by the Alberta Employment Standards Code (ESC) for an employee when they resign? Can we say in the offer letter that if an employee doesn’t provide the required notice, we can reduce his accrued vacation by the legislated notice period?
Yes and No.
Yes, the employment letter may require the employee to provide at least the notice required by Sec. 58(1) of the Alberta ESC—although, theoretically, he/she’s required to do that anyway.
But, no, you can’t directly reduce the employee’s accrued vacation pay owing for failing to provide the required resignation notice. However, Section 3(1)(a) of the ESC says states that the Act doesn’t affect a civil remedy available to an employer. Translation: An employment contract could provide for damages in case an employee doesn’t provide sufficient notice of termination and also authorize the employer to deduct those damages from any other wages owing on termination.