3. Reasonable termination notice – more than just minimum
Many employees are entitled to receive more notice in case of termination without cause than required by statute. The point is that the rules on the proper termination notice come not only from statutes, but also from court decisions. The courts calculate the notice based on what is “reasonable” in all the circumstances of the case, considering multiple factors. All the factors are important, and, to some extent, they are interrelated. These factors include:
(a) Character of the employment, including level of seniority and skills required from the employee
The rationale behind this factor is that people in senior or highly specialized positions may have a harder time finding new employment, to the result that more notice may be reasonable.
(b) Length of service
Here the assumption is that loyal employees should get a longer notice period.
(c) Age of the employee
The courts recognize that older people may have more difficulty finding new job as they may need additional training to acquire modern skills to become competitive.
(d) Availability of similar employment
Here, we look at the employee’s expertise, personal circumstances and the market conditions to determine whether and when alternative employment can be available.
(e) Inducement on part of the employer
Based on this factor, the courts may give more notice to an employee if the employer convinced him/ her to leave another job, to the result that the employee gets some reward for the sacrifice.