What should be included in a Termination Notice?

What should be included in a Termination Notice?

One of the hardest responsibilities an employer must face is terminating employees. Dismissing someone from the workplace can be challenging and potentially filled with a lot of guilt. Even though there may be a lot of emotion involved in the process, terminating an employee should be done with the same level of organization and agency that went into hiring them.

Providing an employee with a Termination Notice is necessary according to the Employment Standards Act – but what should this document look like?

Often, the employer will receive legal guidance regarding termination because a Termination Notice can vary between employees based on the years they have worked, their position, their experience in the field, etc. These differences can affect how much compensation the employee is entitled to (termination pay or severance pay) and how much notice they deserve. It is important to understand what this notice should include, whether an employer is creating one themselves, or if they receive help from a lawyer, because the ESA sets out to ensure that an employee will be dismissed fairly. If the Termination Notice is believed to be unfair, there is a possibility an employee may file a Wrongful Dismissal claim.

Why provide a Termination Notice?

An employer will provide a Termination Notice to maintain a record of the termination. This may be important if a case involving this employee is brought to the court. The lawyers and the court will want to see documentation of the employee’s dismissal from the workplace, and it is crucial that the employer or employee have something to provide in this case.

Another reason why an employer may provide this notice is that it is more professional and considerate to provide one. It makes the employee feel as though time has been put into their dismissal and that their situation is being cared for and not just severed. It also gives the employee the opportunity to review the terms of their dismissal because it is within their rights to seek legal counsel to make sure their Termination Notice is reasonable.

Termination Letter Requirements

Some of the requirements that should be included in a Termination Letter are:

  1. Formal Language. This letter should not be written in casual or informal language. Because a Termination Letter can be used in Common Law proceedings, it is important that it is written as professionally as possible. This document is serious in nature and not something that should be taken lightly by the employer, therefore the language used in this letter should reflect that.
  2. Information on the Employee. The employer should provide the name of the employee and their position.
  3. Date of Termination. This is the date in which the employee is officially severed from their employment. Knowing the date that the employee is officially terminated and which day the Termination Notice was provided is important because each employee has a specific amount of Termination Notice they are entitled to.
  4. Grounds for Dismissal. The employer should include whether the employee was dismissed “with cause”, “without cause”, or if their employment contract has ended. This should be stated plainly, and specific examples may be included in certain cases. If providing examples is necessary in a particular case, do not provide too many. It may create an issue if one of the examples provided is proven to be untrue, especially in court.
  5. Compensation or Benefits. The employer should include the amount of notice pay and/or severance pay, benefits, and any further compensation that the employee is entitled to.
  6. Include all signed legal documents. This is important to add into the Termination Notice for the employee, so they are reminded of what documents they have signed, and may review the previous agreements they have made with the employer.

If you are an employer who wishes to terminate an employee or an employee who seeks legal advice on their Termination Notice, 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.