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At a Glance: Termination of Employment in Canada

Termination of employment

Grounds for termination

May an employer dismiss an employee for any reason or must there be ‘cause’? How is cause defined under the applicable statute or regulation?

In most jurisdictions, an employer can terminate the employment of a non-unionised employee for any reason and without cause, provided that the employee is provided with the requisite period of notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice of termination (and, in select jurisdictions and circumstances, severance pay). This is subject only to human rights legislation, which in most instances precludes an employer from terminating the employment on the basis of a protected ground of discrimination.

Without cause terminations for unionised employees are subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements and the jurisdiction’s labour relations legislation. Often, an employer is precluded from terminating the employment of a unionised employee without cause.

An employer can also ter...

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