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The amount of notice an employee is entitled to when terminated without cause in Ontario can be found in both the statutory law and the common law. There are minimum amounts required by the Employment Standards’ Act (the “ESA”) as well as standard entitlements based on established case law, or common law, in the province.

Under the ESA, minimum amounts are set as follows:

Period of EmploymentNotice Required
Less than 1 year1 week
1 year, but less than 3 years2 weeks
3 years, but less than 4 years3 weeks
4 years, but less than 5 years4 weeks
5 years, but less than 6 years5 weeks
6 years, but less than 7 years6 weeks
7 years, but less than 8 years7 weeks
8 years or more8 weeks

While these amounts are the minimum that employees are entitled to, the common law has also developed standards with respect to reasonable notice. In most cases, common law reasonable notice is greater than the minimum entitlements set out under the ESA.

If an employer fails to meet their obligations to a terminated employee, the employee may be able to establish a successful claim for wrongful dismissal. It is important to note that the common-law notice period may be overridden by a termination clause in an employment contract, so long as the clause meets the minimum ESA standards and is found to be enforceable.

If you are looking to have your termination clause reviewed or believe that you may have been wrongfully dismissed, entitled to reasonable notice and are seeking legal advice, please contact Toronto employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers at 416-214-5111 or via email to mlahert@sultanlawyers.com.