What To Expect in a Severance Package in Canada

Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Non-Competition: Two Ontario Court of Appeal Decisions: Two Very Different Results.
March 21, 2012
Employees Not Required to Stay When Constructively Dismissed
April 9, 2012

What To Expect in a Severance Package in Canada

Severance Packages in Canada: A list of key items to look for when wrongfully dismissed. How to ensure that your severance package is reasonable and appropriate.

Canadian employees who are dismissed “without cause” are usually entitled to a reasonable severance package.  This may not be the case if the employee signed an enforceable employment contract that contains a termination clause, though sometimes these contracts can be challenged.  Most other employees can usually expect severance arrangements based on “reasonable notice.”  The actual definition of “wrongful dismissal” in Canada is simply a failure to provide that reasonable severance package.  If you signed an employment contract or offer letter when you first started, that is probably one of the first things a lawyer will need to review.

Here are some of the key things to look for as part of a “reasonable” severance package.

Severance Pay or Salary Continuation:  It goes without saying that the most important component is usually the severance itself.  Employers can choose to pay over time, with or without some kind of claw back (or “mitigation”) clause, or in one or more lump sums.  In most cases, this is the most important part of the severance package and in many cases, different components are negotiable.  The severance must, at a minimum, include compensation for the relevant provincial employment standards amount.  For example, in Ontario, the severance package must provide for notice pay under the Ontario Employment Standards Act and severance pay, if applicable.   If you are Federally regulated employee (someone who works in a bank, telecommunications company, tv network etc.,) the Canada Labour Code would apply instead of the provincial legislation.  Beyond the employment standards amount, employees can negotiate the length of time, the trigger for mitigation, the payment schedule or other terms.  This is all aimed at ensuring that the employee is compensated as required by Ontario common law, which itself, can vary wildly for each employee.  This is the area on which appropriate legal advice should generally be obtained.  The period of time for which the employee is being compensated is generally called the notice period or severance period.  

Bonus:  Dismissed employees should usually be compensated for accrued bonus for the current year (if there has usually been an annual bonus), as well as bonus for the severance period.  Many employers are quite reluctant to include the prospective bonus as part of the severance package.  If the employee has been getting the bonus every year and can show that he or she would have continued to get a bonus if employment had continued over the severance period, the bonus should be payable.  There may be wording in the original employment contract that overrides this entitlement, but it is often worth trying.  If there is wording in an employment contract or agreement that deals with the bonus, this will be something that needs to be properly assessed and considered. Commissions and Variable Pay:  For dismissed employees with fluctuating pay, the test is what the employee would have reasonably earned over the severance period.  Of course all accrued amounts are owed to the employee, subject to the terms of the employer compensation plan.  Going forward, most dismissed employees should be paid severance on the basis of overall estimated earnings, not just base salary for the entire notice period.

Benefits, RRSP and Pension Contributions:  Severance packages should include arrangements that compensate employees for all components of their compensation.  Generally, all benefits, including extended health benefits, STD and LTD insurance, RRSP contributions, pension contributions, and other perquisites should be continue during the notice period – or the employee should be compensated for the value of any items that are not being compensated.  For example, most insurers will not allow employers to continue LTD insurance plans.  Employees should request compensation for the loss of this employment benefit.  Many employers will agree to include that compensation in the severance package.  Pension losses can be a huge component of a severance package, particularly if the employer had a defined benefit pension plan.

Car or Mileage Allowance:  If the employee had the use of a company vehicle, the general rule is that the employee is entitled to be compensated for the personal use component of the vehicle.  In other words, if the employee used the vehicle for personal use 30% of the time (and showed that on his or her taxes), employers can be required to provide compensation for this loss during the notice period.  Some employers will be more flexible in this area and will either provide employees with the use of a vehicle over the notice period or pay a reasonable estimate of the real costs of the vehicle.

Outplacement or Retraining:  Strictly speaking, an employer is not necessarily required to provide outplacement or retraining as part of a severance package.  However, an employer can be required to pay for the employee’s reasonable costs of “mitigation” if the employee incurs costs in trying to find other work.  As a result, many employers will provide direct outplacement arrangements at their expense.  Dismissed employees may be able to negotiate the type of arrangements that are being provided, the organization, location, and value of such services.  As well, dismissed employees can often arrange to have an employer pay for some upgrade or retraining courses if that will help the employee find new employment.  Though some of this may sound expensive for employers, overall, providing these arrangements may help the employer reduce the time period that it will take the employee to find new work and that might save the employer some money.

References:  Employers are not strictly required to provide helpful references though some judges may look at this down the road and award extra damages for an employer’s failure to do, even if the judge does not state that expressly.  Employees should ask for a mutually agreeable reference and an agreement that any reference requests will be answered in a manner that is consistent with the reference letter or summary provided.

Legal and/or Accounting Fees:  Most employers should be prepared to make some kind of reasonable contribution towards the legal fees of a dismissed employee.  Once a lawsuit has been commenced, the employer can be required to make these contributions if the lawsuit had merit.  Employers will often try to avoid a lawsuit by including payment for some of the legal fees in a negotiated severance package.

Waiver of Non-Competition Clauses:  Some employers may be prepared to waive or modify certain non-competition terms or clauses that were contained in a dismissed employee’s employment contract.  This can often be a tricky conversation.  It is usually more likely that employers will agree to modify a non-competition clause (that might have been unenforceable anyways) than to modify a non-solicitation clause, that may actually protect the employer’s business.  Telling an employer that you would like to go and take their clients’ business is not usually the best way to get a great severance package.  But telling an employer that you won’t be able to find any work because of an overly broad non-competition clause may be viewed as reasonable.

Other Perquisites:  Employers will sometimes provide for items like health club memberships, personal cell phone costs, professional memberships, private annual physical examinations, employer discounts and other items.  These items should be reviewed and considered individually.  Employees will also need to weigh the value of pursuing an item that may not be significant in comparison to the other items.

General Damages:  Most wrongful dismissal damages are fully taxable as if they were income.  The withholding rate may be lower (i.e. 30% if the amount is over $15,000) but at the end of the year, the employee will have to pay tax on the full annual marginal tax rate.  An exception is if there is a basis for some of the damages to be paid as “general damages,” which are non-taxable.  This, fortunately, is not applicable for most dismissals. I say fortunately because it would be a harsh world indeed if every employer who dismissed someone had also acted in a way that would warrant general damages.  Nevertheless, conduct that violates human rights legislation or  other “bad faith” conduct can warrant payment of general damages. It is very rare that employers will actually negotiate and pay these damages without an actual lawsuit or human rights complaint but it does sometimes occur.

These are some of the items to look for in a severance package, though entitlements to these items will really depend on the terms of the person’s employment, the length of service, the type of position, the existence of any employment contract or offer letter and a range of other factors.  A key factor is the likelihood of the dismissed employee finding new employment since all of these items are only really payable if they are arranged initially, or if the employee is actively looking for work and unsuccessful.  Dismissed employees who find new employment quickly may only be entitled to the applicable employment standards minimums.

There is no set formula for exact severance pay calculation.  Despite the fact that some lawyers might claim there is a very exact number if you plug a few variables into a “severance pay calculator,” that only produces a rough average, which may not even be statistically significant.  In most cases, there is a range, sometimes a fairly wide range.  Employees need to consider all of the different aspects of the proposed severance including which items are being paid and which are not, whether the severance is being paid as a continuance or a lump sum, and other related factors.

This list of items is provided only as a guideline for things that employees should consider when looking at a severance package that has been proposed.  In most cases, particularly when a number of different items are listed, employees should make the tax-deductible investment of obtaining proper legal advice from a qualified employment lawyer.


  1. don Clunie says:

    are you entilted to severance pay if you retire I was employed in the NWT and what is the severance pay

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Generally not, unless you can show that you were forced to retire (in other words, that you were “constructively dismissed.”

      • Marina says:

        Hi Ken,
        I was lay off for restructure of the company reason after 1.7 months with termination package of 8 weeks total and medical benefits to last for 8 weeks. Is it reasonable to you, considering I am 50 years old pro (estimator/purchaser) in the construction field with salary of $73,200, which is hard to match, finding employment in 2 months(period I am compensated with)? I am also not sure if it’s matter, but offer I signed when I started working calls for Ontario Provincial Labour Standards and Termination Paper calls for Ontario Employment Stardards Act.
        Thank you for your prompt respond

      • Salim Karim says:

        I was told to retire otherwise I would like to have worked longer

      • Heather says:

        I have been working for same company for 15 years and they have decided to restructure and see off assets so there fore reducing work load of acccount which i do. I am 69 years old what should i expect the company to pay me when they lay me off??

      • ron says:

        What if you worked for the Salvation Army for 10. Years and decided to leave do you still get severance pay

        • Ken Krupat says:

          Generally, you do NOT get any severance pay if you “decide to leave” unless you are forced to do so – or you can show that you had very good reasons for leaving – that would amount to a “constructive dismissal.”

  2. garnet siry says:

    I’ve recently been terminated from my job of 26 years.I’m waiting for the monetary part of the severance package. What would be a typical presentaion from the employer based on these years of service. What value limit should be the expectation using as a benchmark

  3. Jag Rajput says:

    I was terminated today after 12 years with my employer. I was in a management role managing over 80 people in four different groups. I am 66 years old. I have been offered termination notice of 8 weeks and in addition a severance of 35 weeks of my current salary.
    Is it reasonable or do I have chances of negotiating more compensation? I will appreciate your initial advise.

  4. Aurelio Di nunzio says:

    I was a general sales manager at a company that was created as a sales company for 5 other companies. After 8 months the company I was running was disassembled and handed back to the 5 companies to do their own sales.
    I was told I did a good job and this was a strategic move. i reached my bonus for two quarters and was paid and set up the whole sales structure for the company . I am 53 yrs old and it took me a year to find this job. I was let go two months after my probation period of six month/
    what kind of severance should I be looking for?

    Thank You
    Aurelio Di Nunzio

  5. carol says:

    I have worked for same company (Fripp Insurance for the past 15 years but did leave briefly for six months to join another firm (between Sept 2007 and returned to Fripp in Feb 2008) when calculating the severance pay would mine go back only to 2008 or would it go back to the date I started (maximum 26 weeks)?


  6. Andrew Miller says:

    I am hearing different answers to the question “How long a severance period?” The situation: 50 years old, senior manager, 23 years service, good performance, job redundant based on head office restructuring. Company says 1 year for a severance period. I have heard 20 – 24 months is more common and considered reasonable/fair. thanks, Andrew

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Hi Andrew. There is no exact answer. Generally, it sounds like it would be more like 18 to 24 months. However, there could be factors that affect this including whether or not you have a signed employment contract in place, salary level, issues relating to dismissal and many other factors. We usually set up an appointment with people for about an hour or so to go through these things and provide advice. 1 year sounds like it would be low in these circumstances. Ken Krupat

  7. s quah says:

    work in company in tourism industry for over 6 years holding a position of a controller. company is now sold and i was offered 6 month working termination notice with a 3 months retention bonus. please comment if i am fairly treated?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Could vary – but could be something in the range of 6 months. Would have to review with you. Please contact me if you would like to set up a meeting to review.
      Ken Krupat. kkrupat@joblaw.ca – or 416-593-0400.

  8. Janet says:


    I just received a redundancy package as the company restructure. I am with the company for 5 years and 11 months as Superintendent position in mining sector. I received 5 weeks lieu of notice and 8 weeks severance payment. is this reasonable compensation?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Janet that sounds low. Sounds to me like you should be entitled to at least 5 or 6 months’ compensation. I would have have to review everything with you. Please call or email if you would like to set up an appointment. kkrupat@joblaw.ca or 416-593-0400

  9. Ian Woodroff says:

    I am being layoff as of march 28 2013. She is closing down the company due to her husband dieing 15 months ago. She has express that she has lost interest and the will to go on since he died. I was with the company for 8 years and 3 months. Am I intitled to any severance. Thanks Ian

  10. SM says:

    Hi Ken, Great article.

    I know it has been the practice of my employer in the past to present a severence package to an employee and imply that if it is not signed that day then the offer will be reduced to bare minimum. The approach discourages any negotiation of the package. Is there any rule about how much time is fair to consider a severence agreement?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      There is no real set time limit. However, the real issue is whether there is really a reason to sign off. If you signed an employment contract when you first started, you might be stuck with a set notice period as set out in the contract. Otherwise, there may not be a reason to given in to employer intimidation tactics. You should probably try to get proper advice about the terms of the package.

      Ken Krupat

  11. GM says:

    Hi Ken
    Useful and accessible info
    I received a severance package of 6 weeks pay in lieu notice and additional 20 weeks of severance payment
    I worked for the company for 6 years and 10 months as Operation Manager in food processing industry
    Do you consider a reasonable package?
    Please respond

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It might be. Could depend on your age, salary level, circumstances of joining the company (i.e. whether you were recruited) and other factors. We would also want to look at whether they are paying salary contination, lump sum or some other way of paying – and whether they are including bonus, pension, benefits etc.,

      I generally set up an initial consultation for about an hour to review everything and provide this advice.

  12. BEN says:

    A former colleague of mine is expecting to be part of a global downsize excercise at her employer. She has been there 18 years, but the first 5 were “contract” the sole purpose was to stay unde head count limits , but all source deductions were made, she was FT on the companies office. The degree of integration test to determine employee vs contractor would be very high.
    Is she then entitled to a package based on 18 years, or is her employer able to offer her only 18 years recognition.

  13. BEN says:

    Correction, “13 years recognition:

  14. steve says:

    Hi Ken,

    I am on maturnity leave until Jan 2014 and was informed my company is closing and laying off all 250 employees end next year. They explained to us that we will be notified when our individual end date 1) do they have to wait until i officially return to notify me? i.e it is legal for them to send me letter while i am on leave.
    2) I have only been there 2 years,should i brace myself for minimum or can i request more since it takes a long time to find a job?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Hi. It is not actually “illegal.” If the dismissal has nothing to do with the fact that you are on maternity leave, then you do not actually get extra protection because you are on leave. You still might be entitled to better notice or compensation but this is something we would have to assess with you. We would have to look at whether you signed any kind of employment contract when you first started, your position type, salary and other relevant factors.
      Please call or email if you would like to set up an appointment to review everything.

      Ken Krupat

  15. Bob says:

    do i get to keep my benifits

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Depends on the package you negotiate. You should either be entitled to the benefits or the value of them.

  16. Steven says:

    Thanks for the article. Was hoping you could shed some insight on the following situation. Terminated after 3 years of employment, senior managment role, relatively young (30s). Specialized line of work- may be difficult to find similar employment at this level. Was offered 8 weeks termination pay in lieu of notice. This seems low/unreasonable. Your thoughts would be most appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  17. Rose says:

    I have just been informed that that due to restructuring my position has been eliminated. I have worked for this automotive parts manufacturer running the Canadian branch for almost 25 years (non managerial). I am 48 years. I will receive my package in a few weeks. Is it reasonable to assume that I should get somewhere between 2.5 – 4 weeks per year? And should I have a lawyer review it before signing?


    • Ken Krupat says:

      Hi. Thank you for your note. It sounds like you should be entitled to something in the range of 18-24 months’ pay including benefits, bonus etc., I strongly recommend that you obtain advice about this once you have the package. Legal advice to review a severance package is tax deductible and sometimes employers will pay. But there is a lot at stake and you would not want to accept something like this without making sure that you have not missed something important.

  18. Maria says:

    Senior Manager recently terminated “without cause” after 2.5 years. Squeezed out of organization by new management – treated poorly for last half of tenure – potential discrimination/harassment. Offered 2 weeks paid notice and 8 weeks severence. Should I push for more? Age – 50. Also, what happens if I don’t sign within the 7 days?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      You could be entitled to something closer to 4 to 6 months. This would depend on the history of events – as well as whether you signed a contract when you first started. You may want to consider meeting with someone to review everything carefully.

  19. Peter says:

    worked 10 years as supervisor (management) pharmaceutical company. Job abolished, no notice. Company offering 25 weeks severence, did not mention notice pay. I am 49 good or not!

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Peter: Sounds like it could be low. Reasonable argument that it should be more like 8 to 10 months – based on what you have told me so far. But I would have to review other details – including the reason – if any for your dismissal – and whether or not you have a contract.

  20. hailey says:

    i was just fired without notice from a my part time job and i have been working there 18 months and was wondering if i get severance? would really like to know thanks 🙂

    • Ken Krupat says:

      You should be entitled to common law notice or severance – though it may only be one or two week’s pay.

  21. Matt says:

    In Quebec, is it possible to have a lump sum severance payment go untaxed, and pay the taxes accordingly when filing at the end of the year?

  22. Kelly Ann says:

    I was let go without cause with13 years of service. I’m 43. I was offered 26 weeks severance total as per employment agreement. Can I still negotiate? There are many clauses in the employment agreement that have not been enforced by the employer.

  23. B Boyd says:

    I believe the dept I currently work in will be downsized shortly, jobs will be going off shore. I have worked for the current company for 10 years. The company I work for was bought from another large company. I worked for the previous company for about 15 years the left as my husband was transferred to the U.S. I went back when we moved back to Canada and worked for three years before the buyout. Am I entitled to severance for the 15 years prior to moving to the U.S. or only for the three years plus the 10 after the buyout? P.S. I am 61 and live in Ontario.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      I would really have to review all of the circumstances with you to be able to answer this properly – including any employment offer/ letter you may have signed when you started.

      Ken Krupat

  24. Andrea says:

    The company I am working for is closing but I found a new job a few days before I should have received my notice. Am I entitled to any severance?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      If you found a new job before you received notice- and you left (resigned) you would not be entitled to notice. If you were given notice first, you would still be entitled to severance (at least the required amounts under the statute).

  25. Kara Lafleur says:

    The company I work for was sold in February 2013. We were told it was is stages and that the department I worked in didn’t have to worry we were safe for 4 years. Now Thursday Sept 5th 2013 we were informed that as of Sept 27th 2013 the company was been abolished. We were told they were going to give us severance pay as well and our papers would be given to us Monday Sept 9th 2013 and that if we wanted help to critique our resume’s they would help and give us reference letters. When I gave my resume’ to the Human Resources person she said I would be getting 8 weeks severance pay. My concern is my age and that I do have some disabilities. A floor supervisor said that I may be able to request more due to my age and the disabilities as I may not find a comparable job. I was wondering can I request more? I have been with the company for 9 years and 1 month.

  26. Jerrad says:

    Hi I was just notified that my job will be changing to a directors level (from management) and I am not qualified for this level, so they are releasing me. If I find another job during the notice period do I still qualify for severance? I have a employment contract with my employer, which already defines the notice period as two months. I am going to start looking for work now.

  27. Robert A says:

    Workers who are paid hourly, their severance should be based on their annual earnings, not their hourly rate, workers who earned regular over-time hours would be compensated according to the total earnings. Is that correct?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      That is generally correct – under common law. Unless the employer can show that the overtime would have ended – because, for example, a major piece of work was lost.

  28. Elaine R says:

    i was notified of my only option to be terminated in a meeting where i was attacked by minor performance issues. i’ve been at this company for 9 years and 10 months. i would have been eligible for 10 year bonus in March and 5 wks vacation in January. there was no definite termination date set. it was left that once i negotiate and sign off and sign release then its ended. after the weekend i was provided with a letter and some payout numbers for min. severance (9 weeks) and pay in lieu of notice (8 weeks). is this a good package? can i negotiate the weeks of severance given my 10 years of seniority? also when joining the firm it was agreed i could carry over 6 years of seniority from another firm which they claimed was used for ‘vacation’ purposes. can i seek compensation for this?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      A total of 17 weeks sounds like it could be quite low, but it would depend on your particular circumstances. I generally set up an initial consultation to review everything and provide advice. Please email or contact me if you would like to set up an appointment.

  29. Scott Thompson says:

    Hi Ken
    My better half has just received a severance package after 26 years working for a major insurance company. The severance seems quite fair, but the company has been contributing to her pension plan for 26 years. (The employees did not have to contribute.) My questions is. Does she have to move her pension funds or can she simply leave them with the company and still collect a pension after she’s 65?
    Thanks Ken

    • Roy says:

      Hi Ken,
      Long service salaried employee in NS starting in 1985 on “contract”. From 1985-1987 2 brief layoffs. Full time hours after 1987. Permanent employee Jan 1 1990. I am 53 and now in my 27th year. Earliest unreduced pension July1 2019. DB plan from 1990 to 2003, then company forced DC plan 6% matching contributions.
      Workload excessive with expectations of 11-12 hours per day plus weekends if necessary to complete work. Am tired often, handle stress well, but angry about treatment. Work Environment aggressive and focused on the negative most of the time.
      Termination likely soon as company states not performing and placed on improvement plan. This plan requires, yes, more work with unrealistic timelines to complete. If termination occurs in May, is there a mechanism to bridge severance to retirement date? What if any, is the reduced retirement %? Thanks

  30. Al says:

    How do you negotiate to remove clawback from the package. Will a letter suffice. Does going through a lawyer help in success rate.

  31. Loraine says:

    I work at a large Oil & Gas company in Calgary and have been notified of impending layoffs. I have been employed with this company for 33 years and am 52 years old. What should I expect to be offered in the way of severance? Should I accept the offer or do I have recourse against a large layoff?

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Worked 2 + years. Senior Sales position. Laid off approx. 3 weeks prior to Christmas. No reason/restructuring. I had hit my budget. Offered 12 weeks pay. Given the nature of the holidays, hiring is really in a “dead zone” until at least mid January. Do you feel 12 weeks is fair? I want to ask for 20 weeks??


    • Ken Krupat says:

      You could be entitled to more – perhaps as much as six months. However, this might depend on what type of employment contract you signed when you started. As well, salary and age could be relevant. We generally set up an appointment to review these things individually and to be able to provide advice.

  33. sandra jackson says:

    i have been employed 28 years with this company and several of us have been given termination notice dated nov 26 2013 and will run thru that date and may 23 2014. however they are not telling us what our severance pay will be until the end of feb 2014. is it possible that they could inform us then that it is a ‘ working severance’ (if that exists) or will they be obligated to pay us a severance at all seeing as though they have given us almost 6 months notice. this is nation wide termination at the large retail store. thanks

  34. David says:

    I work for a credit union in Ottawa. About 500 people. 33 years of tenure , most recent 14 in Telecommunications – 55 years old. Very solid reputation. Company is wildly restructuring. Very worried my days are numbered. Planning 62 as retirement. Some say, if I am a target, it would be cheaper for them to keep me than lay me off. If I were laid off, I hear anywhere from 2-4 weeks per year as severance. What could I expect if heaven forbid, it did happen? Thanks, Dave

  35. Mark Holmes says:

    my position with an prominent quebec based newspaper company was eliminated recently as a part of corporate restructuring.
    i had 33 3/4 years with the same company. What should i expect as a severance package. I have been in management for 27 years the most recent 4 years as a publisher in one of thier small daily ontario newspapers. please advise

  36. Jared says:

    What happens to a 5 month severance package paid in lump sum if you find a job after a month? Do you return the the rest?


    • Ken Krupat says:

      Generally, this depends on the deal that you have signed. Most lump sum proposals are “no strings attached” – which means that if you find a job – you get to keep it. However, this does depend on the specific terms of the agreement. If you haven’t signed it yet, you may want to have it reviewed.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It really depends on the terms of the package. In most cases, you would be fine.

  37. Michael says:

    In my severance package former employer is requesting me not to communicate company’s customers. Otherwise they will stop my severance package divided into monthly payments. Is that legal?
    Due to my professional background if i want to search for a new job i have to send resumes to companies who are their customers.
    Thank you

  38. Nicole says:


    I have been a casual at a company for 5 months and have been laid off just before the holidays (last day Dec 20). Was told would get paid for holiday, but it’s not on the paycheque. Am I entitled to be paid for the stat holiday?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      You would have to check with your local Employment Standards legislation. I am not even sure from your note whether you are regulated by Federal legislation or the legislation of one of the different Canadian provinces. Check with your local employmnent standards office.

  39. Victoria says:

    Hi Ken:
    Received a “no just cause” severance package from my employer of 25 years, paid as lump sum as of Dec 2013; I now have a job offer from another firm to start in February. Do I have to return the remainder of the severance back or keep them (is that double dipping?)? My contract only stated if do return to the same entity that I have surrender the balance.Maybe I am just reading too much into this . . .

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Victoria: It would really depend on the paperwork that you signed. In most cases, if you receive a lump sum, you would then be free to do as you wish. However, this may be dealt with in your severance agreement or release. I would need to review these documents to provide proper advice.

  40. Alejandro says:


    I was laid off last Friday after working as a sales associate for this company for 29 months in a full time position. The business was doing bad this season so my boss decided to let me go because of shortage of work, the payment in lieu of notice was only 2 weeks and no severance or anything else. I am 30 years old and I was working in Ontario.

    Do you think that I can do something about it?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      You may be entitled to more notice or compensation. However, this could also depend on whether you signed an employment contract when you first started and what was included in that document. We would need to review any employment contract that you first signed to give you proper advice. We would also need to discuss with you the other aspects of your employment – including overall earnings. If you did have a valid, enforceable contract with a provision limiting notice, you might be entitled to two or three months’ additional compensation.

  41. Ken Krupat says:

    Hi. Unfortunately, I’m just not able to answer all of the questions that you might have in this type of forum. I generally set up a consultation with people to review everything and provide advice. I do charge a consultation fee for that appointment. Please let me know if you would like to set up a consultation. Best of luck. Ken Krupat

  42. shy says:

    if a company is bought out, does the new company give out severance packages based on years the employee is being terminated (through no fault of their own) for length of time he/she was with previous company? or does it mean the employee gets no severance package at all?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      In most cases, the employee should be entitled to severance from the new company recognizing the employee’s full service – or from the old company and the new company. It depends on the type of transaction and what type of letter the employee is given, if any, at the time of the changeover. This can vary with the particular circumstances.

  43. Valarie says:

    I was terminated this week from a large retailer after 10 yrs as job are being outsourced The total lay off in my building was 300 with a further 500 coming over the next months. I was offered 12 week termination pay to be paid over the next 3 months and if I find employment before that time I have to reimburse any amounts I make. I was also offered 10.wks severance at the end of that period. The labour board informed me that termination is to paid in a lump sum and the employer cant take back amounts offered. Is my offer fair and legal?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Thank you for your comment. I would have to review everything to be able to provide you with proper advice. 12 weeks sounds low.
      I generally set up an appointment to review everything.

  44. Encerret says:

    Working for a very large corporation for 9 years and 3 months. Expecting a lay off notice/package…what should i expect . I dont want to get ripped off as I heard some stories.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      There could be a range depending on various details including your age, type of position, salary etc., Generally, it sounds like it could be anywhere from 9 to 12 months. But it could also depend on whether or not you signed an employment agreement when you first started. You should probably get some legal advice when you get the package.

  45. Ken Krupat says:

    It really depends on the type of job, the salary level, whether or not she was recruited – and other factors including whether or not she signed an employment contract when she started. These are all things that would need to be approved by lawyer.

  46. Anon says:

    My branch of a much larger office is closing in 4 weeks and I have only been there 4 years, so ESA indicates that the 4 weeks’ notice was all that I was owed (plus my unused vacation will be paid out). I can find work but maybe not at a comparable salary. Am I entitled to anything more from my current employer?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      ESA is not necessarily relevant. You could be entitled to 4 to 6 months’ notice or even more. We would need to review any employment contract you might have signed when you first started. But there is really no reason you should be left with ESA minimums only – unless you signed an enforceable employment agreement that says so.

  47. Kat says:

    Are employers required to include statutory holiday pay in the salary continuance?

  48. Kat says:

    Are employers required to pay statutory holiday during salary continuance?

  49. Wendy says:

    the company I work for is being sold . Management is not in the purchase agreement. So after 18 years of managing this company what should I expect.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Hi there. There is a range of what you might expect. It could be anywhere from 18 to 24 months depending on the type of position, your age, salary, whether or not you have a contract in place and other related factors. We usually set up appointments with people for about an hour or so to review these things and provide advice. Call or email me at any time if you would like to set up an appointment.

  50. Rick says:

    Hi, I have worked for a bank for 26 yrs and now they are discontinuing my job title. They stated that if I didn’t find a job position within the bank I would be offered a package. I was given 1 years notice and put on what they call overrun (is that what they call working severance?)and just served a letter yesterday stating that I will be out of a job Sep 30, 2015 and that the package information will be available Mid-late July. Can you tell me what a I should receive for a severance package?


    • Ken Krupat says:

      I would have to review all of the details with you. However, it sounds like you should be in the range of 20-24 months. We generally set up a consultation with people for about an hour or so to review everything and provide advice. Please contact me if you would like to set up a meeting – kkrupat@joblaw.ca.

  51. Lisa says:

    Ken, employer wants me to sign a letter after 6 great years that I can be terminated without further pay if my performance does not improve within 4 weeks. I refused to sign the letter because I know my performance has not declined. Now, can they terminate me because I refused to sign the letter or they believe my performance has fallen and not give me a severance package?

  52. Rob says:

    Wondering if I have to sign an employee contract that our Church is now making mandatory after already being there 15years.

  53. rose ventura says:

    If a company terminates you due to being bought out by another company aren’t they suppose to pay you any monies owing such as vacation pay, severance package and a record of unemployment in order for the other company to take over. Furthermore how can they lie and tell me business as usual. Please respond to my concerns in helping me understand the mess i’m in after working with this company for 8 yrs.

  54. Rick says:

    If I sell my company that I have run for 10 years and become an employee of the company that bought mine, would my tenure typically transfer to the new role? thanks.

  55. Nabila khokar says:

    I worked with an organization that had 100 + employers. Worked part time for 6 years. Was terminated and given a severence package on the spot without any prior negotiation. What are the laws surrounding on the spot dismissal .

  56. Carlene Bon says:

    I was laid off without notice I was the only one I am female in an all male trades that day my Extended Heath was also terminated they told me over the phone that my severance was direct deposited I do not know exactly what I was paid for taxes taken off I used my vehicle for work purposes and which I was taxed on can you give me some information was it legal on how I was paid thanks

  57. Anita says:

    I have been working for a company both full and part time with the last 8.5 years being full time And have now quit my job to relocate to be closer to my mother. I received a bonus once a year for the lart 8.5 years. I am on salary and have taken 2 weeks holidays in the last 5 years. Am I eligible to receive any compensation

  58. Tania says:

    Hi what should I do if I have been with my company PWC for 10 years now and my department is being handed over to a new company that is taking over my department, no severence or termination offered due to the fact that we are continuing to work and told that all of our years of service are being carried over to the new company ? Should I sign to this agreement if so I will be terminated from my current company once signed ? Please reply thanks

  59. julie duncan says:

    I worked for a doctor’s office for 10,6 years. I was the longest employee there. My Boss, happily retired last week and I couldn’t be more happy for him…He sold the practice to another Doctor…and with the “agreement” that they had, I was suppose to be hired into the new practice. But the new Doctor changed my job description and therefore I didnt qualify for MY job…Now there is talk about “termination” fee, cause i was not rehired…Am I entiled to this? and when do i receive it? how long after? or severence pay?

  60. Tyler Park says:

    Hi Keven,
    The company I have been working has just been sold, I’ve been told I may have a position with the new company or I can severance package (there may be no offer from the company buying). I’ve been working for the same company for 13 years; my current position is General Manager. I work beside the principle and lead a team of 220 employees. I’m told that I will be getting an equivalent of 49 weeks as severance and a bonus if I stay through the transition. (Equals 10 extra weeks
    I’m wondering if you think this is fair and do you have any advice

  61. Sue Adam says:

    Is it customary to pay severance on voluntary retirement from a non-profit society? The ED/founder has 10 years of service – while it would be a nice gesture, what is the requirement?


  62. vivian says:

    In 2004 I went on maternity leave. February 14, 2005 was my return date to come back to work. But less than a week before my return date i received a letter fr HR stating my position is no longer available. So my hours were cut from 8 hours/day to 2 hours only, my status changed from full time to on call on required basis only. NO severance pay, or lieu of notice received. I was told that my employer hired a trustee to hold on to any payments i was entitled to but from 2005 until my employer decided to terminate me i have not receive any severance or lieu of payments from them.
    What can I do if I was entitled to any payments but did not get it? Please help.


  63. Kris says:

    Can you tell me if I got let go for a job with severance pay under the terms if I found employment before my severance was up I would have to forfeit the rest or half!
    Can they do this ? And how would they really know if I did obtain employment ?

  64. Linda says:

    Company just downsized and, after 10 years, was offered a package of 1 year pay and health benefits for that year. Nothing about commissions, car, cell phone etc. I am approaching retirement but had no plans on stopping to work. There is a no-competition clause. Is this fair? Thank you.

  65. Daniela T says:

    I along with 20+ employees were provided with a package back in March 2015. We were given a tentative end date of “end of August”. To date we have not been communicated an exact date. I did not sign the package because of the way it was handled by our HR and I am aware that I am only at liberty to get part of the amount inidcated on the package. Pls advise if an end date is required since it is August. Thank you.

  66. Erin Margow says:

    I am a US based employer needing to terminate an employee in my Ontario office. This employee has worked for us in a customer service type role for 11.5 months. His one year anniversary is next month. Under ESA, we are not required to provide pay in lieu of notice. I am unsure however how much is required under common law. Also curious what documentation we as the employer need to maintain and under what circumstances and employee can sue us or require us to go to mediation.

  67. Mike says:

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the informative website. My mother has worked for a large Canadian bank for almost 20 years. A year or so ago, her department was advised that the bank would slowly dissolve it and even went so far as providing options for payout of accrued severance/termination pay. Assistance in finding a job within another part of the bank was offered and anyone who couldn’t find a position elsewhere was terminated. Over the year, staff was being let go slowly and the department is now left with a skeleton staff of only a few. It would seem that this skeleton staff consists of those folks who have the longest tenures with the bank and they essentially are given make-work projects and other support requests from other departments.

    It would appear that the bank is trying to wait out these folks and get them to resign rather than lay them off due to the somewhat large severance pay liability. My mother has voiced her desire to be laid off, to no avail.

    Does she have any options available to her? I told her she might as well earn a paycheque for doing less work than what she used to do, but obviously she’d love to have the bank package her out.

    Thanks again for any help!

  68. Julie Duncan says:

    My boss retired on July 1. I worked almost 11 years for him ( the longest employee) I was told that I was getting severance. But now it’s almost two months…how long does it take? He still hasn’t provide a letter of reference either..what should I be doing?

  69. Gary Kryes says:

    I recently was laid off as principal for a First Nation band school. I was not given any severance pay and I know they will hire another principal. Am I entitled to a severance package? If so, how much?

  70. Ryan says:

    Just wondering if an employer has to offer severance pay to an employee who is terminated after being on LTD for two years and who will remain on LTD. Assume the employee has 10-15 yrs of service.

  71. susan says:

    Hi, My job is being terminated due to an organizational restructuring. By the termination date I will have only been with the organization 10 months. My question relates to pension contributions. We have a defined pension plan. I will have only made pension contributions (matched by the employer) for four months by my termination date. Am I right in assuming that because the amount is minimal that they will pay me my and the employer’s contribution when I leave? I’m not sure if age is a factor but I’m 57 years old and live in Ontario. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

  72. Kelly Belluz says:

    I work in the trucking industry, apparently I fall under Federal severance legislation.

    1. When hired I was never informed I was a FEDERAL employee and no one can find my initial offer of employment.

    2. I may potentially be getting severed after 13 years of continuous employment. What type of severance am I entitled to? I have been informed it is only 2 days per year of service which seems very low. I am 48 years old and fear I may be too old to find any meaningful employment.

  73. Shaq says:

    I have been with an IT company since last 4 years and our company just got bought out. Our company has no money to even continue matching in RRSP program.
    I am a full time permanent employee but looks like new company might lay off all the employees in coming months once their own employees have been trained.
    My concern is that would I qualify for severance pay? if yes how would it be calculated? (would I get months or weeks pay)
    How can I approach this topic with my new employer?
    Would I get any severance pay etc. If I resign myself at this point or in few months?


  74. Sean says:

    What is reasonable severance in a layoff if the the employee has ten years service a defined benefit pension and the company is aa very large aerospace company?


  75. Amelia says:


    I have been working as a manager for 14 months. The company is restructuring and we are being laid off do to company being bought. I was given some RSU’s in the company and only 25% of it has been vested. Is there anything I can do about the ones that have not been vested? Also, they offered me a severance package of 12 weeks pay. Is that reasonable?

    Thank you!

  76. lee says:

    I have been employed by the same company for 15 years. I work as a property anger, and reside in a unit in one of the properties of the three I manage.
    I found out that our owners are selling 2 of the 3 properties I manage, including the one I reside in.
    I have no employment contract. I have signed nothing in 15 years.
    Would I be considered a common law employee?
    Can I anticipate to receive anything via severance pay?
    Thank you

  77. James Franco says:

    I am currently on medical leave for anxiety and panic disorder (min will be on leave for two weeks however may be longer based on treatment). I expect to be let go upon my return. I have been with the company for 11 years this month and an in a director level role and am 38 years old.
    My questions are.
    1. Will the time I am on leave be considered as part of my employment (if I am on leave for 3 months will they consider my employment to be 11 years and 3 months).
    2. Would my leave reduce my severance (i.e. if they would have offered 3 weeks per year would they be able to reduce the amount of severance by the amount of time on leave?)
    3.. Part of my compensation is an annual performance bonus calcluated at year end and payable the following year. The bonus paperwork says that the bonus is only payable if the employee is employed at time of payout however I have never signed anything. Would I still be eligible for the bonus

  78. craig says:

    Hi Ken

    I’ve been employed part time with a company in alberta that gave us 8 weeks notice. I found another job 18 days before the closure, am I still entitled to my severance package even though I found another job?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      If you already signed off and agreed – it would depend on the terms of the agreement. If not, you may only be entitled to the Alberta minimums.

  79. Kathy says:

    I was working for a dental office the owner went missing so I no longer had a job. Now his estate is being settled am I entitled to severance.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      This could be a bit complicated. If the practice is not being continued, you might not be entitled to anything. It could be considered “frustration of contract.” However, there may be arguments that you are entitled to come compensation from the estate.

  80. Valarie says:

    I’ve been on LTD since 2008. A week ago I received an offer of a lump sum settlement of my LTD benefits. My employer informed me that acceptance of the offer will mean that I’m terminated and will not be entitled to severance, since I am being paid by the insurance provider. At the time of my illness I had been with the company for 20 yrs. Is it reasonable to be denied severance?

    Looking forward to your answer. Thanks Ken.

    Submitted: October 22, 2015

  81. Mellie says:

    Hi, I worked in a warehouse company for 18 years and 2 months. Im 58 years old and have health issues this past years (High Blood Pressure). The company now is strict and I don’t get a raise since my production does not meet there standard They told me they will fired if I will not improve my production. My question is do I get a severance fee during the time when I was fit and healthy . Please email me thanks

    • Ken Krupat says:

      You might have a claim under the Human Rights Code for breach of the Code. You may also be entitled to quite a bit of severance based on your full annual income.

  82. Kathi Britten says:

    I have recently been laid off due to my company not requiring the position and for company finacial reasons. They have offered me 8 weeks + an additional 32 weeks severance package. If i find employment during the this period i am only eligible for 50% of the package. Is this normal practice in BC. They have also extended my benefirs till Aug 2016 or untilmi find employment.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      This is a common way for employers to deal with severance – but you might be entitled to a longer period of time. It would depend on a number of different factors including your age, length of service, salary etc., You probably want to go through this with a lawyer before signing off.

  83. Marg says:

    Employed for 7 years with an agreement with employer to pay x amount yearly for x amount of hours. Pay is bi-weekly in equalized payments (salary but with hour/yr agreement). Most hours are worked in the first 4 fiscal months which is now. Company now is being sold. Would my severance pay be based on those equalized payments or actual hours worked? I’m worried because if broken down to $/hr, I would be at a very large loss if compensated with 5 weeks severance based on the equalized payout. – Alberta

    • Ken Krupat says:

      The pay should normally be based on your overall annual income. You may need to sit down with an employment lawyer and review everything. Best of luck.

  84. Josh says:

    I just recently involuntary quit my landscaping job as a supervisor due to harassment, discrimination,loss of job duties,deductions off my pay without notice and paycheques continuously fluctuating while on salary( and much more). All of this started while being off under doctors care. I’ve worked there over 3 1-2 years. I’ve been offered 2 weeks severance with stipulations if I do not go the labour board route and also Human rights. Is this fair?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It really depends on all the details. If the harassment and discrimination was really bad, and can be proven, you could be entitle to quite a bit more money. You may want to sit down with a lawyer to review everything.

  85. Chris says:

    I work for a food processing company for more than 8 years as a Quality Manager
    They want us to sign a new work contract in which they cut our sick days from 5 to 2 a year, also add a vacation increase after 15 years of service
    Also no mention of employment starting 8 years ago and also a provision that this new contract nullify the previous ones.
    Also provision that they can assign this contract in case of sale of the company
    Will this affect my severance in case they sell the company


  86. Ceasar says:

    Good day, I have been terminated without prejudice after 15 yes 8 months of tenure, I have managed several divisions for over 12 of those years. The package laid out is 37 weeks not including 8 weeks termination notice. As well the the employer has laid 50% of balance owed once employment is found. I am 45 and in a poor economic market. Is this reasonable?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Whether a package is reasonable or not depends on a rang of circumstances – including the history of your employment, salary level, age and other factors. Sounds like you could be in the 12 to 15 month range – although it is generally reasonable for employers to include a “mitigation” clause. I would have to review all the details to be able to give you more extensive advice.

  87. Gyasi says:

    Hi Ken,

    I’ve been at my career for 28 years and am age 53 in a non union environment. Things are looking bleak and stressful for me since the workload is 4 times what it was 10 years ago. Management is constantly monitoring the office for visibility and waving an axe when the profits and forecasts are low. I think my clients like me because I produce excellent results for them but I am feeling the development of mental health problems due to the workload and a feeling that the company has a “personal merit” issue with me due to my candor which is keeping me from moving up in the company.

    Could you provide some guidance about what I can expect when my time comes? Should I expect some blowback if I was to ask for early retirement?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Hi there. There is a range of what you could be entitled to if you are actually dismissed or let go. It could be 20-24 months. However, if you ask for early retirement, they are not necessarily obligated to pay you anything. As well – they could try to low ball you on the severance. If you are suffering mental health problems, you may want to consider your employer’s STD or LTD policies – if they have them. In general, however, the mere increase in workload – even a significant increase – may not be a “constructive dismissal.” I generally set up consultations with people for about an hour or so to review these types of things. Please contact my office if you would like to set up an appointment. Best of luck.

  88. Kris says:

    My employer is downsizing due to slow market. 9 years of service, 53 years of age. I am happy with the severance, but they wish to do a continuance – my ESA (6 weeks) paid in one lump sum, then I must wait until the end of the six weeks, then they will do a salary continuance for the remaing weeks. Can they do this. Also, I asked if they would pay it in full in a lump sum, they said yes, but they would reduce it by 25%, the 25% “claw back” for lump sum is not in the original severance letter, can they legally do this?

  89. Derek says:

    Hi Ken,

    My wife is an office manager at an investment firm, a position she has held for almost 12 years, managing the office for several investment sales reps. It is a branch office of the firm. In late July, the main office notified her and her sales team that the branch office will be closed effective December 31, 2015. Today Nov 30, she received another e-mail from the manager indicating the branch office will definitely close December 31, 2015.

    Is she entitled to severance pay beyond the notice period? If so, how is it calculated?

    Thank you.

    • Derek says:

      Addition: the sales reps are being invited to stay, but hire my wife directly to perform sales transaction functions, or to learn to process transactions themselves and work from home offices. Thus they eliminated an office admin/manager position, oh and they did not give her a raise for 6+ years.

  90. vinson says:

    I am 56 yrs old and a Sr Commercial Account Manager with a major FI with 34 years tenure. The Bank has been packaging off employees in the recent months and I want to understand what I would be entitled to for a severance package if offered. My variable compensation over the past three years averaged $30K/yr. My benefits and retirement compensation is about $15K/yr.

  91. Rosey says:

    I have a question in regards to an ISP (involuntary separation package I accepted from a major airline a little over 14 years ago. Most recently, I completed an on-line application in where I indicated previous experience/employers and was screened in and had a telephone interview this morning. That being said, the lovely lady on the phone said she wanted to see me Thursday or Friday of this week and said she would have to validate if she could re-hire me because apparently anyone who has received/accepted an ISP cannot be re-hired (ever), however she did mention that exceptions can be made and she would ask for this on my behalf. She called me back a few hours later to let me know that they could not re-hire me. I am trying to make sense of this as it seems like a case of discrimination. Granted that I could not do anything about this, I am not even an employee, but is this normal practice? 14 years later I accepted a package worth 3.5 months of salary and even after all this time I should be discriminated against?

  92. Shah says:

    I got laid off on 10 days notice for my 8 and a half years of service as a Field Engineer, without any severance package. What severance package I could claim now?

  93. Jamie says:

    Worked for a company for 17 years as a manager in Quebec. Was given 24 weeks package and told to leave the same day as the package. No issues with me and nothing was done wrong just new company bought our company and forced me out. Is this 24 weeks good enough?

  94. Gerald says:

    Hello I would first like to say I am a union member with XXXXX, but completely unhappy with the very little effort they imposed when it comes to negotiating outside the agreement. It feels like we are just calling the CSR support team with our union.
    I am not sure that you can help us as we are unionized, but maybe help with giving us leverage to have the union lift a finger in the process of negotiation
    In a nutshell my company (National Newspaper) has closed our unionized part of the IT department. Leaving a hole in the support to the Unionized editorial staffiing. My suggestion was to have the non unioned IT department do the union support work for editorial in exchange for a modified settlement of our buyout. Requesting from 2.6 per week to 3.5 weeks per year service that has been handed out to the non union employees.
    If there is any advice you can provide I would be appreciative.
    Thank you

  95. Irina says:

    Good Day Ken,
    I was terminated without cause after almost 9 years of employment (Senior position). I am 46. I don’t have an employment agreement. For the past year, I had to cover two positions because the employer failed to hire a replacement of an assistant for me. The stress caused some health issues (I have a medical record). I was offered to keep me on payroll for the next 8 month plus dental and health benefits. They will cut 50% balance once employment is found. Another option is 6-month lump-sum amount.
    Could you please advise if this offer is reasonable? Thank you.

  96. Loraine Myler says:

    I have received a housing allowance which I pay income tax on. Should this be added to my salary when calculating basic severance? Thank you

  97. edzevid kulenovic says:

    Hello i was laid off my work last october i didnt get any letter or anything in writing they told mewe have to laid u off becouse of shortage of work i didnt get a letter or anything and i worked for that company for past 7 years and now they are hiring but they are not calling me back

  98. edzevid kulenovic says:

    I worked for company for 7 years and they laid me off last october without any notice they just told me they have to laid me off becouse of shortage of work they didnt give me any notice or severnce pay

  99. Annie says:

    Hi Ken,

    My company is having a org restructure. My whole team is being eliminated. The company is giving us 6 months working notice. I have been with the company for 9 years, and in a Senior Manager position. Does that working notice reduce the amount of severance will be paid out at the end? Our HR said they will not be providing the severance detail until closer to the end of the working notice. Thanks

  100. Sam says:

    Hi Ken –

    My employment contract is coming to an end in 3 months. I have been with the organization for around 5 years. My employment contract states that I am entitled to 4 weeks of pay for every completed year of service. Would this mean that I will get the 20 weeks as per the Contract and another few weeks as per ESA?

    Can you please advice on what should I negotiate for?

  101. sylvia kern says:

    I was dismissed from a compony after 20 yrs of employment. They said 8 wks of severence is all I get. Is this so? I was making 4000.00 a month with bonus as well of about 500.00 a month. I’m in edmonton alberta and was with waterloo ford

  102. Diane Murray says:

    I have been terminated from a company after 15 years of service. My severance will be payed to me bi-weekly as a continuance my regular base salary. My ex-employer has stated in my termination package that I MUST continue to actively seek new employment and MUST inform them when and if I gain new employment. They will then cut my severance by 50% of the remainder owed. Is this legal?

  103. pervez says:

    I worked with a company for more than two years. Due to workload I developed PTSD(treated under specialist) and returned to work last October. After three months of working company laid me off in the name of restructuring. I am sure that is not the true excuse. I challenged managers on their performance evaluation process and many other wrong doing.

    Primarily I was offered 8 weeks and then 12 weeks. I asked them to pay 6-8 months due to job market situation(IT)+ my bonuses. I was entitled to bonus, and contributed pension plan, RRSP etc.

    Do you think 12 weeks is low, Please advise.

  104. Hi Ken, I’m on maternity leave right now till mid April of 2016. The HR at work called me 2 weeks ago telling me that I have to find new opportunity because when I come back my position at work will be abolish. And that day when I come back they will give me all the paper work. And they will pay me my vacation and 2weeks notice something like that.

    My question is what are my rights and am I allowed to receive EI?

    Ps I’m from Montreal Quebec

  105. susan says:

    Me and my co-workers jobs were eliminated today. They are making it into one position. We were told we could apply for the new position or take a severance package. What can I expect. I have been working for this very large retail company for 19 years and I am 52 years old. I used the Ontario severance calculator and have read that it could be a maximum of 26 weeks severance. There is quite a difference between the two. Could you please help me out.

  106. p.machek says:

    I worked for a telecommunications company in the GTA for 9 years . I received a $3000. Severance payout , I told them I felt it wasn’t fair. I had a stroke last year on July 27, 2015 at work . I am age 56 , isn’t this wrongful dismissal?

  107. Carol says:

    I am over 50 years old, a unionized employee working for the company for over 9 years, got sick and on LTD because suffered workplace harassment, humiliation and unfair treatments,
    I am on LTD now, and my employer wants to terminate me. if I agree to terminate, what components should I consider in the severance package?

  108. Siddiqui says:

    Hi Ken,

    I have recently laid off. I am 44yrs with more than 8 yrs of service. My company gave me approx 5.5 months notice i.e. employment stay till end of Aug with all benefits. The offered me 2 weeks per year i.e. 16 weeks plus prorated bonus and vacation pay. I don’t have forma package yet, however all this verbal or email. Layoff is done as all work outsourced. Appreciate, your advise whether this offer sound reasonable? If not what in general I should be getting include my notice period?

  109. Raj says:

    Working with big retail store for 4 years, now store I work is closing but not the company. Shall I look for the new job or wit for the company to announce the Severance package and if I am eligible for any compensation if my service is less then 5 years. Kindly guide.


    Hi there,

    I am 55 years old and have been working with an Oil and Gas company for 10.5 years. Currently I hold a senior position as Project Leader with a year base salary of $150K plus an average yearly bonus of about $20K. Due the waves of layoff in the oil sector over the last year I would like to have an idea, based on my age ( qualify for early retirement ), position, and probability of find a similar job in this market conditions, of how much my severance package should be. If they offer early retirement…can refuse and ask for a severance instead ?, what would be more beneficial in my situation ?….am I oblied to accept the offer without consult a lawyer ?…if they give me time to consult a lawyer, how long it would normally be ?

  111. adilio says:

    Hi Ken, fantastic article really appreciate the information. I am 36 yrs old and have worked for the Canadian sales office of an Asian multi national corporation for 11 years which has just announced they will become a holding company and divide the corporation into 3 entities of which one includes my office and is barely profitable. If this company goes bankrupt and tries to provide no severance will I be able to sue for payout or will the process be too difficult since the debtors are in asia ? They have little to no assets in Canada itself.

  112. Sarah says:

    Is their a legal time frame as to when an employer has to have paid out your severance?

  113. Dale says:

    Employed for 33 years, mine is going into care and maintenance , option of taking voluntary layoff with a severance pay of 70 grand, my question is, a friend on my crew has 18 years employment and was offered 70grand also, where’s the fairness

  114. Kelly says:

    Hello Ken,
    Thanks for this article and answers to all these queries- very insightful.
    I’ve worked for a French fashion company, based in North America out of New York, in Vancouver for 3 years. This week my team of 6 and I were informed that Company would be closing it’s Vancouver location, and a number of other Canadian locations within the next few months. We were given a few weeks more than minimum working notice, and severance offers of roughly the minimum as set out in the BC Employment Standards Act (1 to 2 weeks depending), as well as a small retention bonus to close the shop. We are all very disappointed and disillusioned, wondering what prospects we have for negotiation? We were very successful as a business, and have no prior contract signed.

  115. Andrew says:

    One area I would think of woyd have great intrist that i don’t see referenced is Vacation Pay

  116. Mashi says:

    Hi Ken,

    My company is going to relocate from Vancouver to Kelowna. I decided not to make the move. They told me that if I stay till the end of the date, they will give me some sort of bonus. I would like to know if this bonus is the same as the severance. The bonus is about two months of my salary. I am with this company for over 14 years. Is this reasonable according to the employment law? Please kindly advise. Thanks!

  117. Brenda says:

    Hi Ken,
    I have been terminated after 12 years 7 months due to the company restructuring operations and abolishing my positions. I have managed several positions. I was offered to pay 12 weeks salary in lieu of notice. Other persons were hired to handle my responsibilities. I am 63, from Quebec.
    Should I file a complaint?

  118. Ian says:

    Can I be forced to sign a employment contract after I have been working for the company for over 20 years? And can they force to sign that I can only get max 2 years severance if I am terminated ? Does not seem legal?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Hi. In general, they can’t force you to sign the agreement. However, if you decide not to sign – they could terminate your employment – and pay you “reasonable notice” which is likely to e in the range of 20-24 months. I would have to review the agreement with you in detail to be able to provide advice as to best steps going forward. You can call me at 416-593-0400 if you would like to discuss.

  119. Annie says:

    l just been offered a serverance package due to a restructure of the company. l have been working for the company for 31 years and l am 54 this year. No performance issue. They offer me 82 weeks of salary continue period, is it reasonable. What is the chance of getting more weeks and how many more. Thank you

  120. Tony Truong says:

    Hi ken,

    Been with a company for 1.5 years as Director, finance.

    Was let go and given 3 months severance (12 weeks). I’m 33. “Without cause”
    Is this fair, should I ask for more and how much?

  121. lilly says:

    I got fired because of my attendance. I was calling sick and was ask to always bring a doctor note. They were days were I will have to come to work with a really bad cold because I knew calling sick was not a good option. But they were days where I just needed to rest and will have to call sick and the next day come to work. My manager could tell I was sick and all my co-workers, because I was sneezing , coughing and more. But still they wanted a doctor note to prove my absence. Do I deserve the termination payment package yes or not after working for 2 years 2 months

  122. Rosa says:

    Terminated after working 5.5 months. Was not provided with reasonable notice but pay in lieu which is 1 week. Is it fair? Is it wrongfull dismissal? ?

  123. henry nguyen says:

    I’m an electronic technician Level 3(highest level),working for an electronic manufacturing for almost 23 yrs. The company is closing down and move production oversea. I’ll get a 36 weeks severance pay. Is it low/fair/reasonable? Is there room for negotiation? Please advice. Thank you.

  124. Annie Craig says:

    I was let go after working for a company for 6 weeks, with only a verbal contract of employment in place for a future position, I was trainning 3 days a week for when the position was to begin. They gave me 1 weeks pay in lieu of notice (which I have returned ) after I threatened legal action for wrongful dismissal. Am I entititeled to more?

  125. Don Ramsay says:

    I work for a steel fabrication company in Kelowna b.c and after 32 years of service I was given 8 weeks working notice.we do have a union contract that says we get 8 weeks notice,I was wondering if 8 weeks is all that I am I entitled too,or are there precedes set that says I would get more.I am 57 years old and have worked as a supervisor for twenty years of the 32 years of employment.This all started in May 2016 and is still on going.

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  128. Patricia R. says:

    I received a salary continuance with a balloon clause that if I begin another job during the 3 months I will be paid out at 50% of the wages for the remaining period. I was wondering how the former employer will know if I start a new job and what will happen if I don’t report it? I did not read the agreement before signing as I was shocked and wanted to get out of the office before others came in and seen that I was let go. They did tell me I had time to review it, but all they said was they were giving me 3 months pay, they didn’t say there was any conditions attached. Thanks

  129. Poonam says:

    I am working with my employer since 10 yrs the company decide to move which is too far for me for this reason i don’t won’t to continue am I entitled to claim for severance pay

  130. SM says:

    Dear Sir,

    I resigned from my company and joined another company. I was enrolled in a bonus plan for 15% of my base salary. I have worked for 11 months of that 12 months and there is no language that states that I must be employed with the company to get the bonus. Am I entitled to receive prorated bonus if I worked for 11 months. Company pays part of the bonus every quarter. I had 4 offer letters from the company and all of them state the same. Out of the 4 offer letters 2 were promotions. If I am entitled, what would be my next step if the company refuses to pay me? Can they refuse to pay me even if they do not have any letter or wording in the letter about not paying my bonus if I leave the company?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It sounds like you should be entitled to some bonus payments. However, this could really depend on the exact wording in the employment contract you signed and/or the bonus plan. I would have to review all of these letters. Depending on the amount involved – it could then be a matter of a letter or two from our office – or it could be a lawsuit in small claims court – or the Ontario Superior Court – depending on how much is at stake.


      • Jacob R says:

        Hi Ken,My department is very low in work at the moment. Around 40% of the departmemt (20 people) were put on a temporary lay off for a maximum peroid of 6 months. We were told that they may call us back if they have enough work. Would i still be entitled for severance pay if i find another job while on temporary lay off? I live in quebec,been working at the same department for 7.5 years and im in my early 30’s.

  131. Joanne says:

    I have no contract with my present employer in Newfoundland , Canada, worked for same company for 30 + years am I entitled to a severance package

  132. MN says:

    Hi Ken, Lots of great advice.
    If an employee is on a temporary foreign assignment half way around the world, can the employer use the notice period to reduce the amount of the severance pay? It would be very difficult to look for alternate employment during the notice period due to the distance and time difference between the foreign assignment and home location. The employer is not accounting for that and the termination will be on completion of the foreign assignment.

  133. BM says:

    Hi Ken,

    I was laid off after 2 weeks shy of 8 years with my company (multi billion dollar conglomorate) because of a plant closure. They are offering the equivalent of 16 weeks in severance in the form of salary continuation and a lump sum payment. Just want to know if this seems fair? My intuition tells me its low just not sure how to handle the situation.

  134. Michele says:

    I’ve been in executive management for the same company for 18 years and have received termination notice due to downsizing with 12 months severance. I am 52 with an MBA but I am in a challenging economic market. Is 18 months unreasonable?

  135. Richard Lehr says:

    I was just laid off from a company in Canada for cost reductions and down sizing, my American counterpart did not get laid off whose position I am capable of performing, is there a legal stance that he should of been laid off VS me?

  136. Jim Aide says:

    I am the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Management representative for my company.I will be retiring in early January. I had planned to retire January 2020 but the company is transitioning to bring in younger people to take over my responsibilities. I understand that part of this is to ensure continuity of the quality and environmental management systems.
    My salary is ~S72,000 per year and I have been with the company for 32 years.

    The company has asked me to stay until December 31 to help the new personnel transition into the job. Once this happens I will have no responsibility or defined job at the company.

    I have been offered a package of 19 months salary and benefits. After looking on different websites I believe I should be asking for 24 months salary and benefits.

    Another question is can part of the severance package be considered “damages’ and thus be not subject to income tax.

    Thank you for your time in answering my questions.

  137. Reid says:

    34 years with company. Technical position non-management. 72 years old. Was offered 18 months severance. Just wondering whether it’s worth it to go back and ask for more. No cause for layoff.

  138. George Barter says:

    Hi I`m a 44 yrs old who was employed for 10 years and 1 month with a large company as a loader operator. As of Friday I had 2 bosses walk me of the gravel pit where I work telling me I`m terminated due to pits closing and restructuring.I am senior to 3-4 people but was terminated without notice.We do not have a union only an association and the President told me that he fought for me to get 18 wks at 50 hrs x my hourly rate.I asked for my benefits to be carried over as well as roe to have laid off due to shortage of work as they were putting terminated on the roe.I am a seasonal worker as well.Also Wednesday Sept. 14 th I spoke with my boss of our pit division and informed him I was having surgery for a shoulder injury I sustained at work a little over a year ago but did not report to WSIB as I was afraid of loosing my job.I work in Ontario and not sure if this severance is fair.Can they take this off the table if I don`t sign right away.I also was told by our Staff association President that I can grieve it and get my job back but they would probably make my life miserable and find some way to fire me and I would get no severance package. I have not seen this package nor have I signed anything yet.Do I possible have a chance to get more in severance or should I accept as I will not return to this company.I also have my wife as witness to my conversation with my President of our association.Urgency to get response.

  139. Daniel says:

    Hi Ken,
    I work for a Crown Corporation that is privatizing. As the private company takes over we will be terminated and offered employment with the new private company. We have been guaranteed one year employment with the new company but after the year the private company is free to do as they please. I do not want to accept the offer of employment from the private company and would like to seek a severance package. I have been told that the Crown Corporation is offering 1 week for every year worked. I have been employed by the Crown Corporation for 17+ years and feel that one week for every year is not reasonable. Do I have the right to arbitration or any other recourse when my termination occurs?

    Thank you

  140. SS says:

    Hello Ken,
    I have been with the company for 5 years and I recently gave my employer a doctor’s note stating some restrictions to my job duties due to my medical conditions. Upon receipt of the doctor’s note my employer said that they do not provide a modified job duties and will have to terminate my employment. I told the manager that am not saying that I do not want to work, but he insisted that he will have to terminate my employment. What are my options? Can I lay a lawsuit against my employer and what severance package am I entitled to? I will really appreciate your response. Thank you for your time.

  141. Anthony says:


    I’ve been terminated without cause after 14 years. My position was Technical/Project Management with a consulting engineering firm. Performance ratings were good thought time with company. Currently 43 years old.

    Highlights of proposed severance package seems fair at first glance, but looking for generalized opinion if you don’t mind.

    -Salary continuance for 50 weeks total
    -All company benefits with the exception of LTD
    -Vacation time payout
    -No mention of non-compete clause

    Thank you.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It sounds like the right package could be in the range of 12 to 15 months, possibly as much as 18. However, assessing the package depends on looking at all of the various items. Benefits, bonuses (if any), whether it stops if you find other work etc., We generally set up a consultation to do that for about an hour or so.

  142. Laurie says:

    I am currently on a package (and will be for another 8 months) and still looking for work. My mortgage is coming due and I have been offered a renewal, but it comes with a form to indicate my employer. Since I am still technically on the payroll at my previous employer, are they considered my employer now?

  143. K says:

    Hi – After 18.6 years of service as a professional employee (plus 1.5 years earlier as a contractor)I have just received a severance package + notice of 44 weeks. My employer is a publicly traded retailer. As a 56 year old woman I believe it will be difficult for me to find a job in that much time. I do not want any hassle, is their offer reasonable given the circumstances?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It sounds low to me. Sounds like it could be in the range of 12 to 15 months at least, possibly as much as 18. We generally set up an appointment to review everything and provide advice. My suggestion would be that you contact our office to arrange a one hour meeting to review everything. 416-593-0400 or kkrupat@joblaw.ca.

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  145. Don says:

    I worked for a collection company for 10+ years what should my severance be? I am 44 years old and not in management.

  146. Grant says:

    I worked 10 years in Alberta in a Senior Management role and role is being eliminated due to downsizing in the Operation. Company is offering me a different role in the company that I am not interested in and would be a reduction in salary.
    Am I eligible for severance in this situation or not due to being offered another position in company.
    Thank you.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Would really depend on the type of role that has been offered. I generally set up consultations to review this type of situation and provide advice.

  147. brian says:

    If I get fired im in a union for 23 years why am I not intiled to severance and why is the union the only one that can defend me can I have a lawyer in the meeting with me ?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      The union may be able to file a grievance and get you your job back. However, under Canadian law, the union is the only one that can generally do that – rather than your own lawyer. However, the union must agree to represent you fairly.

  148. S.D. says:

    I work in the investment industry, with the same Rep. for 17 years. Just over 2 years ago we moved our book of business to a Charter 1 bank. My position has just been terminated due to lack of performance on my Rep’s part. I’ve been offered a 8 wk severance with option to take 70% lump or an employee continuance pay with benefits, minus 50% if I find other employment. This is very fair as far as the bank is concerned, but am I entitled to severance from the Rep. for the other 14+ years we’ve been working together?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It sounds like you would want to figure out who is paying the severance before signing off or agreeing to anything. I would be happy to set up a consultation with you to discuss. Hard to recommend signing for just 8 weeks’ severance after 17 years.

  149. B says:

    I have recently been terminated from a company I have been working for four years through a continuous series of six month contracts. My current contract will expire in 17 weeks. The other employees were paid a month’s salary for each year of service. I was offered 7 weeks. Should I expect to be treated the same as the other employees? I enjoyed all the same benefits as the other employees. I am a professional in my mid 50’s. My contract indicates that it can be terminated by either party with three weeks notice. What is fair treatment if you are on a fixed contract but working for the same company for four years?

  150. Peter says:

    I was recently let go after a large takeover by an insurance company in Montreal. The termination package i received was larger than the amount i had signed and agreed to with HR. Now the company is claiming the mistake and wants me to pay back the oversight. But now that I have gone over the figures, i see that they actually owe me money. Must I pay back the oversight and can i claim the extra amount even after having signed the termination papers.

  151. debbie says:

    My job of 20 years has been eliminated and I have been offered a promotion to a higher level with double the dollar volume of business and double the reports for a small increase in my salary. I have asked if the alternative is a severance package. My employee indicates that since I have been offered a promotion I am not eligible for the severance package.

  152. Extremely Frustrated says:

    I’ve have been employed as a Project Manager with an engineering firm over the past 10 years.

    Not one disciplinary problem.
    Been very successful managing projects and receiving bonuses.

    Over the past year I was diagnosed with a degenerative disease and went on LTD. My employer has just informed me that they can not accommodate me due to my disability and they have terminated my employment effective immediately. What type of compensation should I be looking at? How does this affect my LTD with the insurance company?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      I would really have to review everything with you. You are entitled to accommodation to the point of “undue hardship” under Human Rights legislation. However, if you cannot return to perform any work – you may only wind up entitled to statutory entitlements. This should not affect your ability to continue receiving LTD. However, they would need to make significant efforts to accommodate your illness.

  153. Steven Bobier says:

    is it common practice for employers to say “you get 50% less severance in a lump sum if you find other employment?”

    is it legal?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It is very common. The reason, as I have explained in my articles on this site, is that employers do NOT owe severance if you find other work. By paying 50% of the remainder – they are actually giving you money that you would not be legally entitled to receive if you had not settled with them. They do this because they would rather have the certainty of the deal than wait and see how long it actually takes you to find other work. But they are under NO obligation to simply pay the whole amount as a lump sum at the time of severance.

  154. AD says:

    What does “2 weeks for every year of service” mean? If i have 28 yrs of service would I be paid bi-Weekly for 28 weeks?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It sounds like you would be paid for 56 weeks. However, I would really need to review the document to be able to provide you with proper advice.

  155. Darren Tong says:

    Hello. Under the terms of my severance package I received, it states that i am entitled to receive incentive compensation (i.e. bonus) for fiscal 2016 (October 31). I have received an amount every year during my 4 years of service. In order to receive my severance I must sign a release precluding any potential future legal action against my former employer. My question would be what happens if the incentive compensation ends up being zero after I sign the release?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Obviously you would want to pin them down as to the amount that you would be getting for the bonus. You should ask them to ensure that it is based on past results. You should also be entitled to bonus money over the future severance period.

  156. Jack says:

    I work F/T for a major Bank here in Toronto for past 38 years. Flawless employment and in Management position. Is it possible the employer can terminate my position and present details on a severance package while on STD?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It is possible – especially if they can prove that the termination had “nothing to do with the STD” – i.e. some type of major restructuring. However, you could wind up with a claim under the Canada Human Rights Act or other claims. We would really need to review this with you to be able to provide proper advice.

  157. Norocel Popa says:

    Hi Ken;

    my wife’s position with TSX was reduced after 14 and a half years. She was a Senior QA Analist there and she will turn 50 next year. She was offered 13 months of severance pay with bonus pay, based on her past performance. The severance would end in case she finds employment and TSX would pay half of what is left (bonus + monthy severance).

    She asked to receive 15 months of severance and, because she was refused training the last 4 years, she asked to receive $20000 ($5000 for every year) or echivalent in months added to severance package, to be able to pay for some training. The company counteroffered with an extra month of career counseling.

    Do you think she has a case for getting what she asked for?

    Thank you.
    Norocel Popa

  158. Mike says:

    I have worked for a company for three years. They just informed me that I am being let go.

    I’m 68 years old working in the IT field.

    They have offered a month notice period and an eight week severance.

    Should I expect a different severance?

  159. sam soman says:

    Is it mandatory that the employer withhold taxes from the severance amount pay to the employee? If the employee directs the employer to put the money directly in his or her RRSP account must taxes still be withheld?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Generally, employers MUST withhold taxes from the severance amount. However, if you have RRSP room available and you have not contributed to use up that room, you can ask the employer to pay an amount directly to your RRSP with no deductions on that amount. As well – if you are a long service employee and were working for the employer before 1994, you may be able to contribute other amounts.

  160. Paul says:

    On Friday May 13 my employment was terminated without cause after 9+ years in a technical role and given the choice of 6 months Working termination or pay continuation for up to 6 months if I resigned immediately. I chose the former and my last day is Nov 11. There has been no mention of a severance package. I am 65. There was an employment contract signed initially that had a clause: ” This notice or pay in lieu thereof includes ALL of Employee’s ENTITLEMENTS under statute AND COMMON law and specifically includes any entitlements under Part XV of the Ontario Employment Standards Act.”

    Am I entitled to some form of package? I have heard varying answers and I have an income to replace now as the sole provider.

  161. Lynn says:

    I got laid off after 9 years and 5 months in this company due to restructuring. My position was senior consultant engineer. I got an offer for severance payment of 2 weeks of my salary but I declined it and I will go to court. How much do you think I should be entitled to? Also, to mention I am over 65 and have a disability that prevents me from doing just any kind of job. Thank you

  162. Rachelle Mendoza says:

    Been working for 24 yrs and 7mos. In a company as forklift driver, Will I be paid as a retiree?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Generally – retirees are not paid anything to retire – unless there is a pension plan or RRSP or some other retiree plan. You cannot be forced to retire. If you continue working and are asked or forced to retire – you may be entitled to severance and may have other claims. However, if you simply decide to retire, you normally do not get any payments.

  163. Curious says:

    I’ve been with current employer for 26 1/2 years, and the company is negotiating a merger relationship with another company, in a different province. Our office will be closing, so being told we’ll get severance packages. I will expect 26-30 months, as senior management executive, currently 56 years of age. Heard rumblings they’ll structure a payback if new employment is found. What does that do to me if I get an offer from a new, somewhat tenuous company, I pay back the severance portion, and then the new company can’t afford me, or goes into financial difficulty and has to let me go? I’m out my healthy original severance. Can a longevity clause be written into the original severance to protect me from a quick turnaround in a new job?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Generally, the company only owes you the severance if you are unable to find other work. For the most part, the highest awards in Canada have been 24 months, with only a few exceptions. Ultimately, you are not entitled to severance if you find other work – and you are required to look. Some issues can be negotiated at the outset – and some companies are more generous than others in the types of clauses that they will negotiate. You can try to negotiate this issues – and you can also try to negotiate a signing bonus from a new potential employer.

  164. Jenn says:

    I was with a job for 5 years and got paid 4 weeks (alberta) they just deposited it in my account with no formal documents (it was a temp layoff that ended). Am I entitled to more ?

  165. Hello Ken,
    I am a 50 year old female that, up until recently, worked as a Medical Office Manager for 10 years, 7 months. My now ex-boss was also my ex-brother-in-law. (He and my sister have been divorced for 8 years now). He recently blindsided me by giving me my termination papers stating simply that he thought it was time for he and I to move on. He is offering me 4 months severance but it is conditional…He states that if i don’t accept his offer of 4 months severance that he will withdraw his “termination without just cause” and tern it into “cause” and I will get nothing. My question to you is; does 4 months severance seem resonable/fair and can he retract the “termination without just cause” to “just cause”?

  166. Janet Mohn says:

    I am a full time permanent employee with a national insurance company since June of 2007. In August of last year, my Technical Training and Support position was eliminated and I was placed on a national project team as a Subject Matter Expert for a one year term. There is the potential for extension to three years (review of extension to occur annually). A new offer letter was presented at the onset of the contract noting that they were only required to provide two weeks notice of continuance with the contract role, or to reallocate me back into a regional branch position if one were available. In the event a suitable position was not available, they would provide “the appropriate notice of next steps”. We have recently experienced corporate lay offs of middle management to reduce budgets and flatten our management structure. I am wondering if the change to a contract role impacts my seniority within the organization, and if they would only be required to offer a severence package based on these new contract terms (two weeks notice?) Also, what might a potential severence package look like based on years of employment and job description? There are only four positions within the company that are similar to my previous role, and there is very little movement within them. Any other position they offered would be a significant step back in my career progress and with the recent removal of frontline management roles, the opportunity for advancement appears limited as well. If the we’re to offer me a role that I am over qualified for, am I obligated to take it? I am 46 years old.

  167. Lewis says:

    I’ve been with this American company for 25+ years. Looks like they will be pulling out of Canada due to profitability issues. I am 53 year old outside sales rep & was not expecting this. If the time comes, what would you say is a reasonable severance package?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It would likely be in the range of 20-24 months. Overall compensation level would have an impact on it. But the company could offer less as a lump sum (with the idea that you might find other work). Or it could offer the package subject to “mitigation” meaning that if you were to find work, you would receive a lower amount. If and when you receive a proposal, I strongly suggest that you make an appointment to have it reviewed.

  168. Brad says:

    I live in Manitoba. I have been with a engineering company for 6 years to the day. The company was bought out by another company 1 and 1/2 years ago and things are starting to get finalized now. The axe came down 2 days ago out of the blue and my position was terminated with 6 weeks severance and a equal “gratuitous payment” offer. Does this sound like a fair offer? I was only given 6 days to accept this offer. Please help! Can I send you my documents for your review?

  169. Anita says:

    Hi im taking care elderly couples..the man died 3 yrs ago and the lady just passed away this dec..do i have still get some payment for loosing a job…i serve for 5 yrs

  170. Rich says:

    I have been working a AB company for 16 yrs, has been received international and national award from my job, the past 4.5 years is assistant manager, recently half year promoted to manager. Last month they decided to removed my current position. And offering me 8 weeks servance package . How many months package I should received?

  171. Jason Morgan says:

    I am currently Plc electrician responsibility for one plant
    Our company has now purchased 6 more plants
    My boss told me they want to put me into a controls automation role and cover all 7 plants and have to report to different bosses in the engineering group now
    He said they r not going to offer u any more money for this new role
    He said it looked like it isn’t an offer but now what they want
    I have an original contract with today’s duties
    My boss gave me a heads up I may want to start looking for another job
    Can I be forced into this role
    If I turn it down
    What options or compensation am I entiled to
    I only been with this company one year

  172. Kim says:

    I am a Nurse Practitioner (part-time) in a acute care hospital in Ontario for 17 years. Administration is changing our standard work schedule to now include weekends (1 out 5), previously I worked Mon-Wed for the last 14 years. I have a special needs child and on my days off I take her to prescribed therapy programs which I would not be able to do with this schedule. If they cannot accomodate me in a new role are my choices to resign & demand a severence or is this constructive dismissal? Also if I receive a severance and a new position becomes open in a year can I re-apply?

  173. Randy Dikoe says:

    Hi Ken,
    I have been employed for the past 12 years in IT for the same company. recently through word of mouth, I have heard that they have dropped the value of their severance packages in half due to the economy being poor. Is this justifiable or should a laid off employee fight for the previous standard of compensation.

  174. Susanne says:

    I was with a company for 4.5 years. Found out we were closing July 2016. They gave this to us in writing. Closed December 2016. Did not receive any severance. Is there a minimum number of years I needed to be employed to receive severance. Was paid out my remaining vacation from 2016. I am 43 years old.

  175. Lynn says:

    I have been packaged off after 111/2 yrs. supervisory position. They have offered
    8 weeks standard pay/benefits and the balance “retirement allowance”, for a total of about 13
    Months. I’m 21 months away from turning 65.

    Does this sound reasonable?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Sounds quite low to me. You could well be entitled to something closer to 9 to 12 months’ compensation, rather than such a low amount.

  176. Lynda says:

    If you agree to a severance package, that includes the employer continuing to pay salary up to xx weeks (not a lump sum payment), do payments stop if you take new part time or full time work?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      It depends on the agreement you signed. You really should get a legal opinion before signing any severance agreement – and then before accepting a new position.

  177. Cavell says:

    Age 57, 32 years of service, Manager position, and accommodation over last 2 years to work from home (doctors note), take taxi chips occasionally to visit clients due to mobility issues. Restructure within company letting 100+ across Canada. Recently received 24 month severance package, no STD or LTD. Bonus will be only for prior year. Lawyer advise was simple – nothing to negotiate- employer gave max 24 months…is this true? Asked them to extend severance to 2.5 years to allow me to retire at age 60. They say unlikely and instead looked at reducing amount of pay be-weekly to get me to 60 which was less. Also, do they continue severance if I choose to not accept and go to court – could I end up getting less?

  178. Trudy Moffatt says:

    2 very kind older people in Saskatchewan were just fired and walk out the door with no cause and no notice. They were told their severance package is 14 weeks pay for 14 years of service. Both are in their late 60’s early 70’s. Both were given no notice and both have almost no way of be employed somewhere else. They were told they need to sign their agreement right away. I feel terrible and don’t think this seems right. I would like appreciate your opinion.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      They could be entitled to as much as 12-15 months’ compensation – but it really depends on type of positions, the salary, and other factors. They really shouldn’t sign without speaking to a lawyer. Their best best would be to try and see someone in Saskatchewan as it may not be economically viable for me to help them – though I would be happy to.

  179. Theresa says:

    I am a 60 year old, 42 year employee of a major financial institution who announced that through upcoming restructuring, my position will be eliminated later this year. I am in a management position and have received exceptional annual reviews and planned on working another 4 years. I’ve been informed unofficially that no severance packages will be offered and I’m concerned and unsure how to prepare for what is expected to be a long costly legal battle. Any advice on what I should be doing now to be in a better position come October would be greatly appreciated.

    • Theresa says:

      Are questions selectively answered based on the content? Just curious why mine didn’t receive a response.

      • Ken Krupat says:

        I try to respond to everything. Sometimes things are very busy and it takes a bit longer. I have responded to your inquiry below.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      From what you have written, it sounds like you should be entitled to severance in the range of two years’ compensation, possibly more than that. You would not be likely to get 4 years’ compensation. Most lawyers can work with you to make sure that taking legal action is affordable and makes sense. Please contact me at any time if you would like to set up a consultation. kkrupat@joblaw.ca.

  180. William Blair says:

    I have worked for an airline in Flight Operations for over 27 years.
    My age is 75yrs. If I retire now should I receive severance pay and
    how much should I expect?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Generally, people who retire in Canada are not entitled to any severance. The only exceptions are – if you can prove you were forced to retire (in which case you could be entitled to quite a bit) or if you have a contract or term of employment (or collective agreement) that says you get paid if you retire. Otherwise, you don’t normally get anything.

  181. Dan says:

    Federal Police Technician for 32 years and 2 years from 55th birthday. Being forced by a unilateral change to no longer be a member of the Police Force and become a Public Servant. Pay and benefits will be similar but will be part of a Union. Government gave out the accumulated “Retirement Severance” a few years ago providing me with 24 weeks “Severance”

    Should employer offer a substantial severance regardless of offering a similar job under a new contract?

    Can one leave with a possible severance for 24 months then retire with pension earned while working after severance has run out?

    Can employer refuse all severance sighting the previous “Retirement Severance” payout as fulfilling obligations?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Unfortunately, this sounds too complicated for me to review and answer in this format. Would need to set up a consultation with you to review all of the background, paperwork and details. If you are part of a union, you would need to deal with this through the union.

      • Dan says:

        I understand.

        Not part of a Union. No one to bargain for us. Just Treasury Board dictating our new terms. Being forced into a Union, not our choice. Ironically we were happy not to be represented by a Union for over 50 years. Not the Government of Canada is mandating we join a Union.

        • Dan says:

          Correction, “Not the Government of Canada is mandating we join a Union.”

          Should have read, “Now the Government of Canada is mandating we join a Union.”

  182. Richard says:

    i work for a bank for 10 years which has slowly been outsourcing various groups for the last 2 years. Past employees have been given approx. 1 month for each year service. As one of the last full time permanent employees to receive a package i find they are only giving 3 weeks per year. What can be done to get a comparable payout without legal litigation? Thanks.

    • Ken Krupat says:

      You may have to sue them or file a complaint with the Canada Labour Code to get the package improved. We are sometimes able to negotiate a better deal without litigation but that really depends on the circumstances. Please contact me if you would like to set up an appointment.

  183. Heather says:

    My severance package is 6 weeks from the termination date + an additional 3 months. (this is the exact wording on my severance letter) The 6 weeks takes me to March 31, 2017 so I was expecting payment to be for the complete months of April, May and June and wanted confirmation that I would be paid to June 30, 2016 and am now being told that the 3 “months” is actually 12 weeks and my payment will be finalised on June 27, 2017. Can you advise, legally, if even though it was phrased as months my employer can calculate it in weeks?

  184. Karen says:

    Wondering….time lines……how long after being dismissed does a company need to get a severance package together and provide it to you?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      You are supposed to be given termination and/or severance pay within two weeks (in Ontario at least). However, there is no set rule about timing for a severance package. You have up to two years to go after the company (in Ontario).

  185. Barkley says:

    Hi. I had worked for a company in an uppermanagment position for 21 1/2 years. The company offered me 10% shares and to stay at my same earnings if I would set up and manage a new store for them. After eveything was set up and running for 11 months they backed out on all the deal my wages were 10000 less because of bonuses not being paid and now they have sold the business and terminated my employment. They offered to pay me 6 months but said if I didn’t accept it and wanted to seek legal advice it would only be 8 weeks. Any advice?

    • Ken Krupat says:

      Sounds like you could be entitled to quite a bit more than 6 months – however it would really depend on the various details. I generally set up meetings with people to review these things and provide advice. Please let me know if you would like to set up an appointment. Kkrupat@joblaw.ca

  186. Deen says:

    Hi, I’m working for the organization for last about 10 years and 8 months as documention Clark in nights shift mind night to 8, please note i’m on same shift and time through out my employment, last week they mentioned they are going to shutimg down night shift and offer and to switch to day time. With out night premium. As I’m working on same mid night schedule and my spouse work during the day and I do babysit my kids to manage my expenses, it’s really hard for me change my shift timing and it’s directly effect my expenses because as they mentioned on notice that I have 2 month to make my decision either switch to the day shift with out night shift primium and in other hand increasing my expense on babysitting as my also works during the day, please advice how much I should get in a package if I leave a job or if some how I’m agree to work during the day shift is company should liable to cover some of the expense like babysitting because it’s created because to shift regular night is shutting down.

  187. Cathy says:

    I have worked at a company for 4 years. I was just given 5 weeks working notice as my employer says due to financial reasons he has to terminate my employment. I have been offered zero severance , should I be entilted to something?

  188. Teresa says:

    I was fired without notice or just cause! They offered me 2 wks health benefits and 3 weeks pay only if i signed a release restricting me from legal help , no employment standards and a not telling anyone including other co workers. I had 5 days to sign it. I told them i wasn’t signing it. I was informed that because i didn’t sign the release all bets were off that I’d only receive 1 weeks pay. Had to wait almost 3 weeks for that one week and over a month for my roe for even after i continued to request both immediately. When i did get the roe they changed it from fired to laid off! Might i mention my position was no longer available as they gave it to another worker 10 months earlier.please do not use my name!

  189. Harley says:

    Hi – I was recently let go after three years from a managerial role without cause – good performance reviews. I am 55 years old. What should I expect with respect to severance? A month per year?

  190. Bill Dalton says:

    AT 64 years of age and working for the employer for 4 years I was fired via email. Employer paid out my accumulated vacation, stat. Days, and other accumulated leave and considered it severance, also considered severance by EIC. I did work in a union environment. I was provided 1 week notice. Arbitration was scheduled however, my union rep (Counsel)sought and reached a settlement. However I signed the settlement under duress. One important matter arose. I was concerned about EIC clawing back my EIC benefits. While the Rep. (Counsel) assured me via email that there wouldn’t be claw back. But he didn’t include it in the settlement. The net settlement was over $29,000.00 plus. The claw back was over $12,000.00. My net was ($17,000.00 plus.) There were other credible reasons as well that could be considered a breach of agreement. I AM SO DISGUSTED.THANKS..living in Alberta..

  191. Diane Smith says:


    I am 50 years old worked for tge company for 36 months. I was given a release letter with severance pay etc and told it needed to be signed by Monday.

    Can you please advise if this is correct because I am being told if it is not signed by Monday the letter won’t stand.

  192. rRaymond says:

    I am on LTD and my employer is terminating my employment based on innocent absenteeism. The rate they are using to calculate my severance does not include any performance appraisal increases I would of received if I was at work? Are they required to consider this when calculating my severance package?

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