Can an employer in Canada refuse an employee’s resignation?

Can an employer in Canada refuse an employee’s resignation?

An employer may refuse the employee’s resignation, but only because an employee has not given enough notice before ending the employment relationship. The employee does not need the employer’s permission to resign, the employee is only required to provide reasonable notice. In cases where the employer refuses the resignation notice, the employer would ask for the employee to extend their resignation notice and remain at the workplace for a longer period. There is opportunity for the employee to refuse this extension, however, the employer may sue for losses.

Providing Resignation Notice

According to the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the minimum amount of notice an employee must provide the employer when resigning is two weeks. Within this two-week notice period, the employer is required to provide pay to the employee.

If the employee fails to provide reasonable notice to their employer, they may be subject to a wrongful resignation claim. A wrongful resignation claim is similar to a wrongful dismissal claim, however, in a wrongful resignation case, the employee owes the employer reasonable notice when ending the employment relationship.

The ESA outlines the minimum amount of notice that is required in all cases. The amount of notice required by an employee is determined by their position, how long the employee has worked for the company, or the amount of time it will take for the employer to find a replacement. These factors may require the employee to provide more than two weeks’ notice.

There is a chance that the reasonable amount of resignation notice required by the employer is defined in the initial Employment Contract. In this case, that amount of notice has been accepted by both the employer and employee when the employment relationship began, which is legally binding. In cases where the contract does not specify the resignation notice period, the two-week notice required by the ESA remains mandatory.

If your employer has refused your resignation notice and you have questions about how to proceed with your resignation, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.