Ask the ExpertTermination Query
Carole MacClure asked 2 months ago

We have an employee who was verbally advised last week that there roll would be eliminated and that they will be terminated – the manager wanted to know how much time would be required for a transition end of June or end of July for last day worked.  This employee is a 20 year employee, 61 years of age and holds the most senior position in the company in Canada.  We have an employee agreement which is 4 weeks/year to a max of 78 – which is fine.  The question I have – as our merit process takes place on June 1st and the employee has not received notification in writing, just verbal discussion, the employee should typically have received their deserved merit, should the merit be applied as of June 1st even knowing we will end up terminating this employee or can we base the termination pay on their current rate?  

Carole MacClure replied 2 months ago

Also wondering when the notice period would commence would it be the verbal notice or once written has been received?

3 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 2 months ago

Can you please tell me which jurisdiction you’re in, and whether you’re federally regulated? Once I get that information, I can answer the question. 

Carole MacClure replied 2 months ago

Ontario and not federally regulated.

Glenn Demby Staff answered 2 months ago

OK. I’ve sent your message to our payroll expert and will get back to you as soon as he replies.

Glenn Demby Staff answered 2 months ago

Here you go, Carole. From Alan McEwan:
In Ontario, notice to an employee has to be in writing. Notice given verbally is not notice from the employment standards perspective, so the “notice period” would commence from when written notice is provided. “Written” includes by email, etc.
Not sure exactly what you mean by “merit”, but if this employee is treated differently than other employees, from now to the end of the required notice, the employer risks exposing themselves to a claim for damages from wrongful dismissal. It would be much better to honour whatever is the “merit” that this person would otherwise be entitled to.
You should also know that there has been a tremendous shift recently in the Ontario law around what employees might be eligible for on termination, so that your “employee agreement” may or may not protect you against a claim for damages in excess of the 78 weeks you discuss, particularly given the employee’s length of service, age and position within the company.

Carole MacClure replied 2 months ago

Thank you very much – this is helpful