Canadian Layoff Trends in 2023: Your Severance Rights

Unveiling Canadian Layoff Patterns: Identifying the Provinces Hit Hardest by Employee Terminations

A person’s job represents something so fundamental to their day-to-day life and sense of purpose that if they are let go from their place of employment it naturally leaves them in a position of uncertainty about what lies ahead. Thus far in 2023, the sectors hit hardest by layoffs have been tech and construction, with both industries seeing large waves of employee terminations take place. Geographically, the Province of Quebec has seen the largest number of layoffs across Canada, with 36% of polled organizations reporting layoffs. The next to follow were British Columbia (32%) and then Ontario (30%). The main reasons for layoffs in 2023 have been employers looking to cut costs or a slowdown in their operations resulting in decreased demand for labour.

How can employment lawyers assess the fairness of a severance package?

The first step for most who have their employment terminated without cause is to assess the severance package that their employer has offered them. Employment lawyers are able to assess a person’s severance package and determine whether it is fair through a few key steps. First, the lawyer will look at the person’s written employment contract, if applicable, to determine if the contract states what that person is entitled to if they are let go. In reviewing the contract, lawyers will not only be looking to see if the contract specifies what the person is entitled to, but a good lawyer will also be able to determine if the language in the contract is legally enforceable.

What factors do courts consider when determining the appropriate severance package?

If the person does not have a written employment contract, if the contract does not specify the person’s entitlements upon termination, or if the contract’s language is unenforceable courts can then award a larger severance package. Courts use factors such as the person’s length of service with that employer, their current age and type of work that they performed to determine the appropriate severance package for that individual.

What should individuals do if they are unsure about their severance package entitlements?

If you have recently been let go from your employment position and are unsure about your severance package entitlements we encourage you to seek legal advice to better understand your rights. We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.

Author – Nasyr Asmi