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Employee rights on termination of employment

Region: Ontario Answer # 602


Rights under the Employment Standards Act

Contrary to what many employees think, most employees can be fired at any time, for any reason. However, in Ontario, under the Employment Standards Act, most employees who have worked more than three months have the right to receive a minimum amount of notice or pay instead of notice, unless the employee was fired because of wilful misconduct or neglect of duty. In some circumstances, employees may also have the right to receive minimum severance pay depending on the size of the company they work for.


Rights of federal employees

If you work for a company regulated by federal law, such as a bank, airline, or transportation company, there are different minimum termination and severance pay rules that apply to you as defined by the Canada Labour Code.

If you are unsure about your rights as an employee under federal authority, or for more information, view the Government of Canada’s labour standards for federal workers.


Rights if you have an employment contract or are in a union

If you belong to a union, or if you have a written employment contract, the rules are different again. To find out what your rights are, ask your union representative or review your employment contract.

Employment Insurance benefits

If you lose your job, through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to receive regular Employment Insurance benefits from the federal Government of Canada. Eligibility is based on how you lost your job, and how long you were working before your job ended. If you qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, in most circumstances, you will receive 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up-to a maximum amount.

Effective January 1, 2024, the maximum insurable earning amount has increased from $61,500 to $63,200. This means that an insured worker will pay EI premiums in 2024 on insured earnings up to $63,200. The maximum weekly EI benefit rate has increased from $650 to $668 per week.

Get help

A criminal record will appear on an employment police check and will affect your ability to get or keep a job. To erase your criminal record, learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

If you are involved in an employment dispute and require legal advice and assistance, contact our preferred paralegals Nicola (Nick) Giannantonio Legal Services.

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