Terminating employees is rarely a smooth task. Even if every process is followed by the book, there could be anger, resentment and hurt feelings that may cause conflicts in the workplace. Therefore, its important for employers to know their statutory rights and obligations for how to process employee terminations.
As listed on the Government of British Columbia website, there are several different rules that need to be followed. The outline for providing notice and calculating compensation amounts is also listed.
Generally, an employer provides employees with notice of termination, which states that the employee relationship will end at a determined point in the future. However, some employers opt to end the relationship the same day they inform their employees. In this scenario, the employer must offer, in lieu of notice, financial compensation. Depending on how long an employee has worked, he or she may be entitled to different amounts of compensation.
What’s important to note are instances when an employer does not have to provide notice or payment in lieu.
On of the most noteworthy instances is if you have dismissed an employee on “just cause” grounds. Depending on the situation, an employer may not have to provide notice of termination or payment in lieu if they are terminating the employee on the spot.
However, even though you may not have to provide notice or payment in lieu in some situations, that may not prevent a dismissed employee from taking legal action against you. An employee may demand higher amounts of severance based on several potential factors (years of service, contributions to the company, level of management, etc.).
While employers are in their right to dismiss an employee with “just cause”, its best advised to consult an employment lawyer with experience assisting employers with terminations. He or she can advise you if you are under any legal obligation to provide the client with additional financial compensation.