What is mass termination?

What is mass termination?

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have been forced to adapt to new working conditions and restructure their businesses as needed. In some cases, employers have been forced to downsize by reducing their number of employees. If an employer terminates fifty or more employees in their establishment within a four-week period, it is identified as a mass termination in the Employment Standards Act.

Characteristics of Mass Terminations

The fifty or more employees who are terminated can be characterized as a mass termination if at least fifty of these employees have been terminated within the same establishment. This means that these employees do not need to work at the same location, but within the same district.

This type of termination does not qualify as mass termination if 10% or less of the employees being dismissed have worked for at least 3 months. Meaning, at least 90% of the terminated employees must have worked for more than 3 months for it to be identified as a mass termination. Further, if the terminations were a response to the business closing, they also cannot qualify as a mass termination.

Providing Notice

Upon the mass termination, the employer must provide a Notice of Termination (Form 1) to the Director of Employment Standards that describes what workplaces have been impacted by these terminations, how many have been terminated, why the employees have been terminated, the termination date, and necessary contact information.

The amount of notice the employer must provide is dependent on the number of employees being terminated. For example, if the employer is terminating 50 to 199 employees, they are required to provide all affected employees 8 weeks’ notice.

The rules regarding how to treat employees while on their notice period is the same as any other termination outlined by the ESA. Employers are still required to provide regular compensation that has been provided throughout their employment relationship.

If you are an employee who has been terminated or an employer who believes they have to engage in a mass termination at their establishment, 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.