General Termination Principles for Western Canada
Employers in Alberta are free to structure their business as they wish, including whether and when they terminate each employee. However, the law inserts a couple of caveats into this discretion.
First, the Employment Standards Code (the Code)1 requires employers to provide employees with either notice or pay in lieu of notice in the event of termination. Notice or pay in lieu under the Code is based on only an employee’s years of service with the maximum being 8 weeks.
In addition to notice under the Code, employment agreements also include an implied term requiring employers to give employees common law reasonable notice of termination.
While employers can replace this implied term with an express provision reducing or even eliminating an employee’s common law notice, such provision must satisfy certain requirements to be enforceable, including limiting language that’s clear and unambiguous.
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Jon is a partner working in the firm’s Edmonton Office. He passionately provides legal advice and represents clients in all family matters. Jon has a wealth of experience advocating for his clients in judicial, quasi-judicial, and dispute-resolution venues.