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2. Employment Relationship

Assuming that you don’t belong to a union and that you are not an independent contractor, you will most often fall into one of two basic categories. You have an employment contract that says how much notice you will get, or you don’t.

In either case, your employer is bound by provincial employment standards legislation that sets a minimum amount of notice. They have to give you at least the amount this legislation entitles you to, no matter what your contract says, and even if your contract doesn’t mention notice at all. (Click Here for links to the provincial websites where you can look up the provincial minimum notice periods.) Keep in mind, though, that you are most likely entitled to a lot more than the legislated minimum.

You may have an employment contract, even if you don’t have a piece of paper that says “contract” at the top. You and your employer might have just had a conversation or a series of conversations in which you settled on an employment agreement without writing it down. If you both agreed on how much notice you would get if you were fired, then that agreement is as good as if it was written. If you have a written employment contract, then you should get what it says. Again, remember that your employer must give you at least what’s required under the employment standards statutes.

If you have no employment contract (for example, you have no written contract and you had no discussion), then the law says that you should get “reasonable notice.” The majority of cases fall in this category. Your employment continues up until the day that your reasonable notice ends. Your employer must either keep you employed until that date or must pay out the salary and benefits to which you were entitled up to that date.




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