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Answer for Seasonal employees, temporary layoffs, job abandonment, dismissals

Q1: You’re not legally required to list a specific term in the contract but it’s highly advisable that you do so.
Q2: Yes, if: A. the contract specifically says the work is seasonal; and B. the work really is permanent. Ditto if the work is probationary and the probationary period has passed under ESA.
Q3 and Q4: I’ll  have to run the rest of the Qs past our payroll expert.
Q5: Time necessary to constitute job abandonment depends on the situation and would be much shorter for seasonal employment. What is clear, though, is that you do need to be able to document that you made an effort to contact the employee. Suggest sending a written notice documenting the absence, when it began, how long it’s continued and seeking clarification of his/her status as well as a reply deadline after which you will assume the employee has abandoned the position.
Q6: Generally speaking, previous disciplinary notices don’t have a defined shelf life, particularly when the latest offence is a repeat violation, i.e., the same violation the employee committed before. Exception: Many unions negotiate clauses into collective agreements providing that previous discipline DOES expire, i.e., gets tossed from the file, after a stated period, typically around 2 years.
Q7: Face to face is generally preferable. It’s not so much a legal requirement as the optics. Phoning a firing looks pretty crass, especially if the employee has long service. Doing it in person also enables you to get the severance paperwork signed. Exception where phone may be OK is where there are mass layoffs and you can’t personally talk to everyone or if you’re worried about the threat of violence.