The 2023 Layoff Landscape: What’s Next for Employees?

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The year 2023 has been marked by significant changes in the job market, with layoffs affecting industries across the board. As 2023 comes to an end, many are wondering what’s next in 2024 As an employment lawyer, I have had a front-row seat to the challenges faced by both employees and employers during these trying times. In this blog, we’ll explore the landscape of recent layoffs, their causes, and how to navigate the legal aspects surrounding these job cuts.

Layoffs, unfortunately, are not a new concept. Economic fluctuations, industry disruptions, and organizational restructuring often necessitate staff reductions. However, the year 2023 has been particularly tumultuous, with layoffs occurring in companies of all sizes, including industry giants like Amazon, Google, and Meta. These layoffs have been driven by various factors, such as evolving market dynamics, automation, and, of course, the ongoing global economic conditions.

Understanding the Causes

  • Evolving Market Dynamics: Industries are continually evolving, and some roles are becoming obsolete due to technological advancements. This necessitates workforce adjustments and potentially, layoffs.
  • Economic Conditions: Economic downturns or uncertainties can lead to cost-cutting measures, which often result in layoffs. Companies may need to streamline their operations to stay afloat.
  • Organizational Restructuring: Companies may choose to reorganize, merge, or divest, leading to redundancies and layoffs as they reshape their workforce to align with their new strategic goals.

What do I do if I’ve been laid off in 2023?
Mass layoffs are a challenging yet common occurrence in the business realm, often leaving many employees wondering how they’ll be affected and what to do if they find themselves receiving a termination notice.

The first and most important thing: 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.

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 instances, the employment contract may specify that you are only entitled to the minimum benefits mandated by employment standards legislation, as outlined in the BC Employment Standards Act. The contract may also establish a particular method for determining the notice period or payment in lieu of notice based on your length of employment with the company.

If your employment contract lacks explicit terms concerning notice periods, you may be entitled to common law reasonable notice. In such cases, the duration of notice owed to you can vary and is typically influenced by factors such as your years of service with the company, your age, your role, and your salary, among other considerations.

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may potentially be owed several months’ worth of compensation in lieu of notice. It is essential to consult with an employment lawyer to accurately evaluate your individual situation and determine the appropriate amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.

The year 2023 has posed unique challenges in the employment landscape with significant layoffs affecting various industries. If you find yourself facing a layoff in 2024, remember that you are not alone. 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.

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