Severance std question


#1

If I am on std when my employer gives notice (the plant is closing) am I entitled to serverence?


#2

You would need to consult a lawyer on this because there is no easy answer – would depend on a lot of things, including are you in a union, low long employed, etc.

It is important to appreciate that there is no right to severance per se, unless in rare situations where such a right is included in a collective agreement between a union and the employer. All employees are entitled to is notice that their job will end. Each province has labour codes or laws that set out what the minimum notice period is. It is often 2-3 weeks at a minimum. It can be longer based on other factors like a collective agreement, the employment contract, if the person was in a high level management job, or had many years of service with the company. So these factors can extended the notice period an employer must give the employee – so instead of two weeks maybe they have to give you 6 months notice. They don’t owe the employee money, they have to just give enough advance notice of when the job will end.

The concept of severance payments happens because many employees don’t want to give notice you six months notice and have you continue to work there for the next sick months. So what they will do is rather than give you six months notice, they say you are finished today and here is six months worth of pay, in lieu of notice. This is where the idea of severance pay comes from.

The only other reason some employers offer a severance type payment is to get you to sign confidentially forms and other releases of liability or complaints. They do this as a way to manage risk of future claims from past disgruntled employees.

So if a person is out on disability, and is not receiving any pay from the employer anyways, I expect the employer would just give you the notice that your job will in end in x number of months that that would be it. They would not have a requirement to offer severance unless they had other reasons for doing so like, it is required under a collective agreement or they want to get all employees to sign releases against future claims or liability.


David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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