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New Canada Labour Code Notice of Termination Provisions Coming February 1, 2024

The Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Labour, has fixed February 1, 2024, as the date on which amendments to the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) come into force that significantly increase the entitlement to notice of termination for longer service employees.

The proposals are part of a broader Federal Government initiative to update the Code. For an overview of other upcoming and possible changes to the Code, see our October 13, 2022 article here.

Currently, s. 230(1) of the Code requires federally regulated employers to provide at least two weeks’ notice of termination or pay in lieu to employees it intends to terminate on a later date. In contrast to many provincial jurisdictions, the applicable notice period does not increase with length of service.

The amendments bring the Code into lockstep with the provinces by requiring greater notice to be provided to longer-service employees. The new notice periods are as follows:

  • Two weeks’ notice for employees with at least three consecutive months of continuous employment;
  • Three weeks’ notice for employees with at least three consecutive years of continuous employment;
  • Four weeks’ notice for employees with at least four consecutive years of continuous employment;
  • Five weeks’ notice for employees with at least five consecutive years of continuous employment;
  • Six weeks’ notice for employees with at least six consecutive years of continuous employment;
  • Seven weeks’ notice for employees with at least seven consecutive years of continuous employment; and
  • Eight weeks’ notice for employees with at least eight consecutive years of continuous employment.

It is important to note that the first interval, that being two weeks notice of termination, applies to employees with at least three consecutive months of continuous employment but less than three consecutive years of continuous employment.

These amendments are a marked departure from the current notice of termination provisions under the Code. Moreover, the current Code provisions on unjust dismissal, severance pay, and mass termination are unchanged and continue to apply as before.  Federally regulated employers should be sure to revisit their employment contracts, collective agreements, and termination practices by February 1, 2024 to ensure compliance.

If you have any questions about this topic or any questions relating to workplace law generally, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

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