Terminating employees is one of the most difficult parts of running a business, but sometimes it needs to be done. Employers in Alberta must understand and fully comply with the Employment Standards Code (the “Code”) to ensure they are terminating employees in accordance with legislation.
Alberta’s Laws on Employee Termination
When terminating an employee, employers must follow the rules set out in the Code. This includes providing termination pay, written termination notice or both. The written termination notice must include the termination date and the length of the notice period, which will depend on an employee’s length of employment with the company, in addition to other factors. In accordance to the Code, no notice would be required if the employee has been employed for less than 90 days or are dismissed for just cause. Alternatively, if an employer does not want an employee to work through the notice period, employers may provide termination pay in lieu of notice. The amount of termination pay that is to be provided, must equal how much they would have earned during their notice period. If the employee works only part of their notice period, the employer would be required to provide termination pay for the remainder of that period.
Best Practices for Terminating Employees
In order to protect their business, here are a couple of things employers should keep in mind when terminating an employee in the province of Alberta:
- Be Clear and Concise: Your termination meeting should be brief and should clearly cover what is necessary. You might outline the reasons for termination and reference the chances the employee was given for improvement.
- Have a Witness: Having a member of HR or management present to take notes will help you protect your business by ensuring the termination is well documented.