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Termination in Manitoba: A Quick Reference for Employers

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Running a business is far from easy. Besides keeping clients happy, you must also do right by your staff and ensure you are compliant with provincial Employment Standards and health & safety laws.

When it comes to terminating an employee, it is important that employers understand the rules around termination to avoid being sued for wrongful dismissal.

This blog answers some common questions employers may have on terminating an employee in Manitoba.

What is termination of employment?

A termination of employment occurs when either the employer or the employee end the employment relationship. Other expressions for employee terminations include, “discharged,” “let go,” or “permanently laid off”.

What are the different types of termination?

There are two types of terminations:

  • Termination without cause, and
  • Termination with just cause

Can you be terminated without cause in Manitoba?

Yes. You can be terminated without cause in Manitoba. Under Manitoba’s Employment Standards Code, employers can dismiss employees without any reason as long as they provide proper notice of termination, or pay wages in lieu of notice, or offer a combination of both.

What about termination with just cause?

Employers can terminate an employee without notice as long as they can prove just cause for termination. You should ensure you have sufficient evidence to support the reason for the dismissal. Manitoba’s Employment Standards may investigate complaints related to whether the worker should have been provided a notice period.

What is just cause for termination in Manitoba?

Just cause terminations are reserved for serious and wilful misconduct/breach of contract (for example, stealing, assaulting a co-worker, committing fraud, or long periods of unexplained absences).

Are there any situations in which the law prohibits termination of employment?

Yes. Employers can’t terminate employees for using the rights they are entitled to under The Employment Standards Code.

What is meant by wages in lieu of notice?

If employers do not wish to provide notice, they can pay wages in lieu of notice or termination pay. This means the employee receives the wages they would otherwise have received had they served the notice period.  If they wish to, employers can also allow employees to work for part of the notice period and pay wages in lieu of notice for the remaining days.

Employees who have fixed hours every week earn their regular earnings for wages in lieu of notice. If employees work varying hours every week, wages in lieu are based on the average of the earnings for regular weekly hours worked over the last six months. Vacation and overtime pay are not added to wages paid in lieu of notice in Manitoba.

What is notice of termination?

The period of time an employee or an employer is required to provide the other before ending the employment relationship is called notice of termination. Employees work their regular hours and receive the same rate of pay during the notice period.

How much notice must employees give when they resign?

The amount of notice an employee must give depends on how long the employee has been employed by the same employer. The employee must give a week’s notice if they have been employed for at least 30 days but less than a year.

If their period of employment is one year, then they are required to serve two weeks’ notice.

How much notice must employers provide if they let go of an employee?

Again, the notice period depends on the employee’s length of employment.

Length of employment Notice required
At least 30 days but less than one year One week

 

At least one year and less than three years

 

Two weeks

 

At least three years and less than five years

 

Four weeks

 

At least five years and less than ten years

 

Six weeks

 

At least ten years

 

Eight weeks

 

 

Employers can either let the employee work through the notice period, or pay wages in lieu of notice for the same number of weeks or offer a combination of both.

Do I have to provide notice of termination to the employee if they have been employed for less than 30 days?

No. Employers and employees don’t need to give notice of termination when the employee has been employed for less than 30 days.

Do you have questions about termination of employment in Manitoba?

Our experts can help you develop company policies as well as with any other HR, health and safety, or employment advice you need. See how we have helped other small and medium businesses get their business compliant with provincial legislation. To learn more about how our services can benefit your business, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.