What is Reasonable Notice?

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In a previous blog article, we set out the minimum amount non-unionized employees in BC are owed under the BC Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) when their employment ends.

It is important to remember that if you have been dismissed from your job, you may be entitled to more than just severance pay as outlined in the ESA. You could also be eligible for something called “reasonable notice,” which is often a more substantial amount than the severance pay specified in the ESA. Reasonable notice is the notice period an employer must provide to an employee pursuant to common law when the employee has been terminated on a without-cause basis.

Generally, an employer has the option to choose between providing working notice (i.e., the employee continues to work until their impending termination date) or terminating the employment immediately by offering compensation that is equivalent to the amount the employee would have received if they had been given working notice. In other words, instead of allowing the employee to continue to work during the notice period, the employer can choose to provide payment to the employee in lieu of notice, effectively ending the working relationship.

The specific amount of notice required depends on various factors. Some of the most important factors taken into consideration include your age, length of service with the company, the nature of your position, and the availability of comparable job opportunities in the market. It’s important to note that other factors may also be taken into consideration and that no single factor is considered more important than the others in determining the appropriate severance package. Since each case is unique, a lawyer can carefully evaluate your situation to determine the appropriate amount of notice or severance that you are entitled to.

It should be noted that an employee may not be entitled to common law reasonable notice in some cases, such as when:

  • the employee belongs to a union;
  • the employee quits or retires;
  • there is a written contract that specifies the amount of notice;
  • the employee is employed pursuant to a fixed-term contract; and
  • the employee is terminated due to just cause.

If your employer has terminated your employment without providing reasonable notice or severance pay, you may be entitled to compensation. Labour Rights Law can assist you by assessing your case, providing you with legal advice about your reasonable notice entitlement, and seeking compensation on your behalf for the reasonable notice owed to you.

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.

To book a consultation, please give us a call toll-free 1 (877) 708-8350 or locally 604-245-3169. You can also book a consultation online here.

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