Telus Layoffs: 6,000 employees face job cuts

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Telecommunications giant Telus has recently announced its plan to lay off 6,000 employees, explaining its need to free up cash flow and sustain competitiveness with the rising cost of living and looming recession. This downsizing includes the elimination of 4,000 roles within its core Telus operations and an additional 2,000 positions at Telus International. The company revealed that it also offered opportunities for early retirement and voluntary departure packages.

According to Jayson Little, a representative of United Steelworkers Union Local 1944, he has heard from employees who felt pressured into accepting the severance packages. Little approximates that around 1,600 unionized members throughout the nation will be faced with job cuts, with most of these positions concentrated in British Columbia and Alberta.

Similarly, other major players in the telecommunications industry, BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications, have undergone assessments of their workforce size this year. In June, BCE Inc. announced its plan to reduce its workforce by 1,300 positions, including a six percent reduction at Bell Media. Rogers has also communicated to its employees that it would be implementing a voluntary departure initiative to eliminate positions made redundant from its merger with Shaw.

This recent development highlights, once more, how important it is for employees to be aware of their rights and the employer’s obligations following a layoff or without cause termination. More specifically, in those situations, the employer has a legal obligation to provide proper notice or compensation in lieu of notice to the employee being terminated.

Laid Off? What can you expect from your severance package?

Before you accept any severance offer, you should have an experienced employment lawyer review it. A lawyer can tell you if you have been provided with a fair severance package and assist you in making informed decisions about your case. At Labour Rights Law, we can assess the strength of your case and provide an estimation of the compensation to which you might be entitled. Moreover, a lawyer can present you with well-informed options, offering clear guidance on the appropriate steps to take moving forward.

A lawyer will likely ask whether you have a signed employment contract. If you do, the lawyer will request to review it. An employment contract often outlines your entitlements in the event of a without-cause termination, such as layoffs due to restructuring or downsizing.

In some cases, the employment contract may stipulate that you are only entitled to the minimum benefits provided by employment standards legislation, such as the British Columbia Employment Standards Act. The contract may also establish a specific formula for determining the notice period or payment in lieu of notice based on your length of employment with the company.

In the absence of any explicit terms in your employment contract regarding notice periods, you may be entitled to common law reasonable notice. In such cases, the amount of notice owed to you can vary and is typically determined by factors such as your length of service with the company, your age, your position, and your salary, among others.

Depending on specific factors present in your case, you could potentially be owed many months’ worth of pay as compensation in lieu of notice. It is important to consult with an employment lawyer to accurately assess your specific circumstances and determine the appropriate amount of compensation you may be entitled to.

Lastly, don’t sign anything until you talk to an employment lawyer. You can’t trust your employer to tell you what is fair, and the Internet is no substitute for experienced, professional legal advice when it comes to your future. When you’re ready to talk with an employment lawyer, we’d be honoured to meet with you. To make an appointment with one of our employment lawyers for a one-hour consultation, provide us with your contact information and let us know what we can help you with.

Read more: How do I know if a severance package is fair?

DISCLAIMER: The content of this article, and this website generally, is not intended as legal advice and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.  To provide legal advice on your problem, a lawyer must first understand your specific situation.

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