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Taylor Janis’s Severance Review Process in British Columbia
– Vancouver –

Step 1: One-on-one confidential consultation and strategy session*
Step 2: In-Depth Consultation and document review
Step 3: Strategic negotiation tailored to your unique circumstances
Step 4: Close the chapter and move on with dignity and financial security.

*Your employment must have been terminated to qualify for a one-on-one confidential consultation and strategy session

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B.C. employment standards state that:

Employers can end employment by:

Giving an employee written notice and/or payment based on how long they’ve been working

OR

Firing an employee for just cause – if an employer has just cause, they don’t have to give notice or pay

When an employer terminates in the first way, the payment is termed “severance pay”.

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WHAT IS SEVERANCE PAY IN BC?

Severance pay is regarded as a payment that compensates an employee for the loss of their job.

If you are offered severance pay by your employer and you accept it, you can be terminated immediately – rather than first serving a notice period.

Severance pay is usually a lump sum payment to cover the salary for a certain period of time but a severance “package” may include other compensation and benefits, such as:

  • Regular salary, commissions, and bonuses
  • Pension contributions
  • RRSP contributions
  • Medical and dental benefits
  • Fringe benefits (allowances for vehicles, cellphones, gym memberships, etc.)
  • Vacation pay

Example: Today you were notified by your employer that your employment is being terminated, effective immediately. Instead of giving you reasonable notice, your employer has opted to pay you 3 months salary (severance pay).

If you have been offered a severance package or are about to negotiate with your employer about leaving your employment, you probably want to know how much you are entitled to.

Speak to our experienced employment lawyers at Taylor Janis in Vancouver first to ensure that you receive what you are due.

Example: Your employment is terminated after 2.5 years of service. Your employer has offered to give you 2 weeks’ of your regular salary as is required under Vancouver Employment Standards. This is a wrongful dismissal. In fact, you are entitled to additional severance pay under what is called the common law.

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IS SEVERANCE PAY MANDATORY IN BC?

In British Columbia, severance pay must be paid by employers if certain conditions are not met.

One of the major employment stipulations is that a “reasonable” notice period for termination must be provided to the employee.

If this cannot be provided, a severance package from the employer is regarded as a payout in lieu of reasonable notice.

However, there are further guidelines that are detailed below.

Who qualifies for severance pay in BC?

Severance must be paid by your employer in Vancouver if an adequate notice period is not provided in writing to you AND:

  • You have completed a minimum of three months of continuous employment with the employer
  • There is no just cause to dismiss you
  • You do not wish to leave your employment
  • You do not quit or retire (i.e. leave on your own terms)
  • You do not work on an on-call or limited-term contractual basis
  • You are not offered an alternative position or employment
  • The circumstances are not out of the employer’s control (such as bankruptcy, for instance)
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HOW MUCH SEVERANCE PAY AM I ENTITLED TO IN BC?

This is the question that everyone wants the answer to.

Fortunately, there are province and federal guidelines in place to help you calculate what you are due in the event of unwanted termination by your employer with no notice period.

Providing you have completed three months of continuous employment and all other conditions are met (as detailed above) you are entitled to something.

The longer you have served the company, the more you can expect from any severance package.

Here are some general guidelines that apply for employees in British Columbia:

  • After serving three months, you are entitled to one full week’s pay as severance
  • After twelve consecutive months of employment, you are entitled to two full week’s pay
  • After three consecutive years of employment, you are entitled to three full week’s pay
  • After each additional year of employment, you are entitled to a week’s full pay

The maximum amount of severance available in BC is up to 8 weeks of pay. So, if you have worked 8 years for an employer and you are terminated without reasonable notice, the absolute minimum severance pay that you would be entitled to be 8 weeks’ full pay. Please, keep in mind, the ESA does not include your full entitlements under common law.

In reality, a good employment lawyer may be able to claim much more for you.

Note that one week’s full pay is calculated as follows: the total of your wages over an eight-week period (minus overtime hours worked) divided by eight.

Learn More >> Negotiating your severance package in BC

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DO YOU GET SEVERANCE IF YOU GET FIRED IN BC?

If you are fired, you are not entitled to severance pay if there was just cause for the termination.

For instance, if you were caught stealing company property and were fired on the spot, no severance pay is due.

If you are wrongly accused and fired, it would be another matter that you would take up separately with your employment attorney in order to claim damages.

Note that if you quit your job voluntarily, you are not entitled to severance pay unless you have provided written notice and the employer terminates you before the intended departure date.

FIND OUT HOW MUCH SEVERANCE PAY YOU ARE ENTITLED TO IN BC

Have you received an offer of a severance package and want to know if it is sufficient?

Maybe you are in negotiations with your employer and need some guidance on how much to ask for?

Many employees are entitled to much more severance than the minimums in the state guidelines that your employer will probably offer you.

Each employment situation is unique. Do not assume that you are getting a fair deal.

A Taylor Janis employment lawyer can advise you during a confidential consultation regarding your severance pay rights.

Call us now to book a one-on-one consultation with one of our employment lawyers: 604-423-2646

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If your employment is terminated against your will and through no fault of your own (i.e. there is no termination with just cause) and you do not receive adequate notice from your employer, you are entitled to severance pay in BC. More Information

If you live in BC and are not a member of a union, your employer must generally provide adequate notice or payment in lieu of notice (severance) to terminate you without cause. More Information

Reasonable Notice is a legal term that refers to how much notice or time an employer must give you, the employee, of the date your job will be terminated. In some cases, employers may choose to pay out a severance package in lieu of reasonable notice. More Information

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Call or text us using the details below or fill out an enquiry form.

Edmonton

Toll Free: 1-844-224-0222
Phone: 780-428-7770
Text: 587-400-4549
Office location

Calgary

Toll Free: 1-844-521-1715
Phone: 403-474-0411
Text: 587-315-0244
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Red Deer

Taylor Janis LLP Employment Lawyers in Red Deer Priced to be discussed #17-104, 4808 Ross Street
Red Deer, Alberta T4N 1X4
Phone: 587-333-4399

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Vancouver

Taylor Janis LLP Employment Lawyers in Vancouver Priced to be discussed #202, 905 W Broadway
Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 1K3
Phone: 604-423-2646
Toll-Free: 1-877-402-1002

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Kamloops

Taylor Janis LLP Employment Lawyers in Kamloops Priced to be discussed #600A, 235 – 1st Avenue
Kamloops, British Columbia V2C 3J4
Phone: 778-600-1599

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