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Fired from the job? Important things to learn about severance pay

The provincial employment rules in Ontario mandate that the employee should get a termination letter, termination pay, or both if he or she has not resigned from the job themselves; it is the employer's decision. However, to qualify for that, the professional has to be in the company for at least three months in a row and should not have any misconduct charges against him or her. There can be a few more exceptions also, which only an employment lawyer can tell you precisely.

Besides, there is another thing that a fired employee is entitled to receive, i.e., severance pay. If your employer has forced you to quit the job, you can ask for it. However, there are a lot of considerations that can contribute to a decision in your favour, such as the nature of your job, your experience in the field, how old you are, and the condition of the job market, etc. Your lawyer can assist you and your employer with an amicable negotiation.

Here are a few points that you should be aware of regarding severance pay.

Situations when severance pay is applicable

Your entitlement to severance pay depends on the following factors:

  • The company hired you for 5 or more years on the job
  • The employer pays $2.5 million in salaries
  • The company is removing 50 or more professionals within six months due to a problem in business

You get severance in case your employer dismisses you from the service without there has been an issue of misconduct from your end. Or, it's constructive dismissal. Another scenario can be where your employer asks you to quit for 35 weeks or more within 52 weeks. The layoff has occurred due to business shut-down, or you resign as per the statutory notice period serving two weeks of notice after your employer gives you a termination notice.

Things to keep in mind under such a scenario

  • Don’t accept the severance offer immediately after your dismissal from the job. Talk to your spouse and an employment advocate about how to negotiate it better.
  • The employer can propose you severance pay for the numbers of years you served the company. The amount can be less or more. But there is no assurance you will get it. So, always look for negotiation.
  • You can negotiate for health benefits as it is critical for Canadians. The employer may not extend medical coverage after termination period.
  • You can opt for total severance payment in one go. If you choose this, the employer can give you the lump sum amount after some deductions. It can be a favourable choice if you have confidence that you can get a new job soon. However, if you don't go with complete payment, then you would need to inform your previous employer as soon as you find another employment somewhere.
  • If you get career counselling in your package, do take advantage of this opportunity as it can expose you to new networks, and learning atmosphere.

Since this process can include a lot of paperwork and assessment of different employment clauses, taking help from a reputable law firm in Mississauga is recommendable.