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Ontario Erectors Association

Employment & Labour Law Update – Management Counsel Newsletter – April 2019

We hope you enjoy our April 2019 edition of Management Counsel (attached).

Our newsletter is published several times a year to highlight important issues in Canadian employment and labour law. In this edition, we address two topics:

Threshold for Severance Pay Limited to Ontario Payroll – so says Ontario Labour Relations Board

As many employers are aware, in Ontario, an employee is entitled to severance pay in addition to termination pay if, at the time of termination, the employee has been employed by the employer for five years or more and the employer has a payroll of at least $2.5 million. Severance pay – an additional week of pay per year of completed service to a maximum of 26 weeks – can represent a significant increase to the termination obligations of an employer. In recent years, there has been uncertainty about whether the $2.5 million threshold should be calculated on only the payroll of Ontario operations, or whether an employer’s payroll outside the province should be included. Learn more…

Do you know the difference between a layoff and termination? If you’re an employer, you should.

People often use the terms “termination” and “layoff” assuming they mean the same thing. While in casual conversation glossing over the difference may not be important, for an employer, failing to understand the difference can present a missed opportunity and create unnecessary risk for your business. Having the legal right to temporarily lay off an employee can provide an employer flexibility to respond to a slowdown or change in business without the need to permanently terminate employment and pay for costly notice periods. However, unless an employment contract includes an express or implied right to lay off an employee an employer has no right to do so. If there is no express or implied right, a layoff may amount to a fundamental breach of the employment contract (constructive dismissal) entitling the employee to notice or pay in lieu and possibly severance pay. Learn more…

We hope you enjoy our newsletter. If you have questions or comments, we’re happy to hear from you.


You are also invited to our next HReview Breakfast Seminar:

Discipline in the Workplace – Common Issues and Best Practices

Discipline in the workplace can be an employer’s greatest challenge; more so, when complicated by a workplace harassment complaint or human rights consideration. Too often employers feel their hands are tied, preventing corrective action or discipline. In this seminar we explore practical and strategic approaches to address misconduct, poor performance and discipline:

1. When is discipline appropriate?

o Can an employee be disciplined for off-duty misconduct?

o Is there still value in a performance improvement plan?

2. What is the appropriate discipline?

o Mitigating and aggravating factors.

o How to communicate the outcome.

3. Union Representation

o How does this impact the process?

4. Human Rights

o When (and how) disability, family status or another protected ground influences an employer’s decision-making.

o Can we still use a Last Chance Agreement? If so, when and how?

5. Harassment and Conflict

o Can an employer’s duty to ensure a safe workplace justify discipline?

o Can discipline be issued to an employee who makes a harassment complaint?

6. Practical tips to ensure the best outcome

This free breakfast seminar will be held on Wednesday June 12, 2019 at the Mississauga Convention Centre, 75 Derry Road West, Mississauga. Details, including how to register, can be found on the back page of our newsletter and our website at