Termination of Employment: A Guide for Employers in Ontario

Termination of Employment: A Guide for Employers in Ontario

Do you need to dismiss an employee? Firing employees can be a tough business, one that most people do not want to engage in. But as an employer, you are responsible for dismissing employees when necessary, and following the correct rules and procedures when doing so could save you valuable time and money down the road.


Termination of Employment is defined as when an employer discharges an employee and discontinues their employment, constructively dismisses an employee and the employee resigns in response, or temporarily dismisses an employee outside of the protections of the statute, or the employee’s contract of employment.

Notice of Termination: Written Notice or Termination Pay

When an employee has been working for an employer for more than three months, the employer is permitted to fire said employee, but must assemble a written notice of termination and/or provide the employee with termination pay to inform the employee in question. The amount of notice the employee should receive depends on the length of their employment term. For example, if the employee has worked for less than a year, but more than three months, they have a right to one week’s notice.

The employer is not required to explain why they are terminating the employee. An employer may not dismiss an employee, even with proper written notice or termination pay, for specific reasons such as an employee practicing their rights as laid out in the Employment Standards Act (ESA).

The written notice itself must be directly addressed to the employee and has to be verifiable. This means that the notice has to be sent via a platform that can be saved and inspected when needed. If notice is not given, termination pay is required. This payment needs to be given to the employee within seven days of their dismissal or at their next pay period.

Once the employee is aware of their termination

After the employer has presented a termination letter and/or given notice to the employee, it is required that the employer maintain wages, benefits, and any other work conditions the employee was allocated before notified of their dismissal for the requisite period of time under the ESA.

If you are an employer struggling to dismiss an employee or have questions about this process, 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.