For the most part, an employer or employee can end employment as long as written notice is given in advance.
Length of notice
The length of written notice to an employee can range from two to eight weeks depending on how long the employee has been employed continuously with the employer. Employment is considered to be continuous if there is no interruption in the relationship between an employer and an employee.
During the notice period
An employee who receives written notice can continue to work to the end of the notice period. An employer cannot reduce the hours of work, rate of pay, or benefits of the employee during the notice period. The employer cannot consider vacation time as part of the employee’s period of notice. Instead of providing written notice, an employer can decide to provide pay in lieu of written notice to a terminated employee.
When written notice is not required
An employer is not required to provide written notice of termination if the employee has been employed continuously for less than six months. If an employee has been employed continuously for six months or longer and there is no good reason for termination, an employer must provide written notice.
Notice not required – other situations
An employer can terminate an employee without providing written notice if the employer can show just cause, for example, when an employee has stolen from an employer.
When employees resign
Employees also must follow rules when ending employment. Employees who quit a job do not have to give written notice if they have worked for less than six continuous months for the employer. An employee who quits a job after six months to five years of continuous employment must provide written notice of at least one week. An employee who quits a job after five years or more of continuous employment must provide written notice of at least two weeks.
Requirements for pay-out
When employment is terminated, the employer must provide all pay owed to the employee by no later than the last day of the next pay period after the termination of employment.
This article provides only general information. Details about termination or any other provision of PEI’s employment standards legislation can be obtained by contacting the Employment Standards Branch at 902-368–5550 or toll free 1-800-333-4362.
Visit www.peiemploymentstandards.com. The Branch is located at Sherwood Business Centre, second floor, 161 St. Peter’s Road, Charlottetown.