Fixed Term Contracts: To include or not to include a termination clauses

| June 7th, 2017 | No Comments »

Often, the most cost effective way to fulfill a temporary business need is to hire an individual on a fixed term contract. However, what may not be known to most employers is if the employment contract comes to a premature end, then the employee would legally be owed the amount for the remainder of the contract. The way to avoid this outcome is to include a termination clause in the employment contract.

When including a termination clause there are a few options available to employers. Employers may opt to include a reasonable notice provision, which would entitle the employee common law notice. At common law, notice periods are usually longer than those provided by minimal standards employment legislation, as factors such as age, tenure, skill level, responsibilities and so on will be factored in to the length of the notice pay. However, they are easier to draft and less likely to be found unenforceable due to errors of law.

Alternatively, employers may opt to provide the minimum notice period under law. However, due to recent common law developments (see Wood v. Deeley Imports Ltd., 2017, ONCA), employers must be very careful when drafting clauses that seek to provide for the mandatory minimum. For instance, payments for notice, benefits and severance cannot be grouped into a lump sum payment. The clause must specify the amount for each requirement of severance pay under the law. Otherwise, the clause is unenforceable and essentially non-existent.  The wording is key and thus more susceptible to legal error. It is always best to seek the service of an employment lawyer when seeking this option.

Overall, it is best to include a termination clause for a fixed term contract, as this will ensure the goal of cost effectiveness. It is important to seek the assistance of an employment law expert when implementing termination clauses.  The onus on employers to draft clear, unambiguous and legally compliant termination clauses is high, and any errors will render the clause unenforceable.

Protecting yourself from being dismissed

| August 29th, 2014 | No Comments »

Securing your employment is something every employee wants and it is reasonable for an employee to want protection from being dismissed.  In the worst case scenario, employees want to know, what legal options do I have to ensure that I am protecting myself from being terminated?  Toronto Employment Lawyer, Daniel Lublin explains some valuable insight in his most recent Globe and Mail column.

Imagine being a long-tenured employee being offered a new position with another company.  How can an employee protect themselves from termination during the first year? Mr. Lublin explains that leaving a long-tenured position for another company without protection is cause for concern. As an employee, you are entitled to negotiate your salary and the same applies to any other terms of your employment, including the termination language and probationary clause.   There are also events where employers allow their employees to take items home from work.  In the event that an employee is accused of stealing and then fired, what recourse does that employee have? Daniel Lublin offers his response by saying that you cannot steal when you have permission to take it. If this action was and is still condoned, you have options.

Read Daniel Lublin’s Globe and Mail column and full article How can I ensure I won’t be fired at a new job?