Severance Pay for Employees in BC

You may be entitled to receive a severance package from your employer.

How Does Severance Pay Work?

In terms of BC employment law, your employer is generally required to provide you with a sufficient notice period before terminating your employment agreement.

According to the Employment Standards, the following notice periods are applicable:

  • After three consecutive months of employment, your employer is required to give you one week’s notice;
  • after twelve months of employment, your employer is required to provide you with two weeks’ notice;
  • after three consecutive years of employment, your employer is required to give you three weeks’ notice; and
  • for each additional year of employment (up to eight years), your employer is required to provide you with an extra one week’s notice.

Should your employer terminate your agreement without applying the reasonable notice requirements, you may be entitled to severance pay as compensation.

Here are three ways in which your severance can be issued to you:

  • a lump-sum payment;
  • a salary continuance (in other words, you will receive your regular pay after your termination per the severance agreement); or
  • a deferred payment, which means your severance is paid over several years.

Is Your Employer Obligated To Pay Severance?

There are certain circumstances in which your employer is obligated to pay severance, including:

  • if your employer does not provide reasonable notice as per the guidelines presented in the BC Employment Standards;
  • where there is no just cause for your termination;
  • where you have given notice of your intention to resign, but your employer decided to terminate the agreement immediately.

There are, however, circumstances where your employer may not be obligated to pay severance. These include:

  • where you haven’t worked three consecutive months for your employer;
  • you resigned without providing reasonable notice;
  • your employment is based on a fixed contract.

What Amount Of Severance Are You Entitled To?

Should the circumstances of your termination entitle you to severance pay, the amount is dependent on several factors.

After that, for each added year of employment (up to eight years), you qualify for an added one week’s pay.

Key Takeaways

If you are terminated without just cause or reasonable notice, you are entitled to severance pay from your employer as a form of compensation.

BC employment law sets out the minimum standards regarding when your employer is obligated to pay you a severance package as well as how much severance you are entitled to.

It is important to remember that the guidelines merely impose a minimum standard. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a more reasonable package. This is why we always suggest talking to a lawyer about your employment rights before signing any agreement.

At Solimano Law, our experienced employment lawyers are committed to helping you negotiate a severance package that is fair and reasonable in your circumstances.

Contact us to set up a consultation today!

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