What is Working Notice? When is it Required?
Termination of employment is a complex subject in employment law. The rules surrounding termination will vary based on whether the employer has sufficient cause for terminating the employment relationship with an employee. Though there are a few exceptions, an employer in BC must give an employee “working notice” or payment in lieu of notice if they wish to terminate their employment without cause. The length of this notice will vary based on how long the employee has been employed, but it is generally expected that the employee will continue to work throughout the period specified in the notice. To help you understand what working notice is and when it is required, the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood have compiled some important information.
How Much Notice is Required?
If the employment contract between the parties contains a provision for enforceable termination, the notice entitlement/length must be stated in the contract. The length of notice must meet or exceed the minimum statutory notice requirements set out in section 63 of the British Columbia Employment Standards Act, which provides the following:
- After 3 consecutive months of employment – one week’s notice
- After 12 consecutive months of employment – two weeks notice
- After 3 consecutive years of employment – three weeks of notice, plus one additional week of notice for each additional year of employment up to a maximum of 8 weeks of notice.
If there is no formal employment contract between the parties, the employee may be entitled to common-law notice. This length of this notice is typically determined by considering the length of service, the age of the employee, their position, and the probability of them being able to obtain similar employment within the outlined period.
Important Rules Relating to Working Notice
- The notice must be in writing and delivered in clear and unequivocal terms.
- If the employer gives insufficient working notice, an employee is entitled to sue for wrongful dismissal.
- If the employee is allowed or required to work beyond the notice period, the current notice is invalid. The employee must be given a new notice.
- The terms and conditions of the employee’s employment must not be altered during the working notice period.
- The employee must continue to perform all typical duties during the working notice period.
- If an employee resigns during the working notice period, they are not entitled to be paid for the balance of the working notice period.
To learn more about working notice, termination, or other areas of employment law, get in touch with the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood. We can be reached at 604-850-6640 or through our online contact form and will be happy to assist you.