Termination Pay And The Short-Term Employee

Termination Pay and the Short-term Employee

Contrary to common belief, short-term employees may be eligible for substantial termination pay under specific circumstances. This article delves into the nuances between Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and common law, shedding light on termination pay for short-term employees.

Understanding Termination Pay

In the event of termination without cause, employees are entitled to notice or termination pay. The ESA sets the baseline for notice requirements, ranging from one to eight weeks based on years of service. Common law, particularly in the absence of an enforceable termination clause, often surpasses these standards, considering factors like employment character, length of service, age, and the availability of comparable positions.

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Termination Pay for Short-Term Employees

Short-term employees, having worked over three months but less than one year, are guaranteed at least one week of notice under the ESA. However, the common law may extend this entitlement, factoring in individual situations and the need for a “buffer period” to secure new employment.

Key Instances of Substantial Termination Pay

Short-term employees could potentially receive significant termination pay under common law, assessed on a case-by-case basis. Noteworthy cases, such as Love v. Acuity Investment Management, have seen the Ontario Court of Appeal awarding a short-term employee nine months of termination pay due to challenges in securing comparable employment.

How a Severance Lawyer Can Help

Understanding the complexities of termination pay and severance can be challenging, especially for short-term employees. Enlisting the knowledge of a seasoned severance lawyer can make a significant difference in ensuring your rights are protected. Here are ways a severance lawyer can assist you:

  • Understanding Your Entitlements: A severance lawyer can provide a thorough assessment of your situation, helping you understand your entitlements under both the Employment Standards Act and common law. This includes determining the appropriate amount of termination pay based on your individual circumstances.
  • Negotiating Severance Packages: If you have been offered a severance package, a lawyer can review and negotiate the terms on your behalf. They have the expereince to maximize the value of your severance, ensuring it aligns with your rights and the unique aspects of your employment.
  • Legal Guidance in Disputes: In case of disputes with your employer regarding termination pay, a severance lawyer can provide legal guidance and representation. Whether you need to file a claim with the Ontario Ministry of Labour or pursue legal action in court, having a knowledgeable advocate can greatly strengthen your position.
  • Ensuring Compliance with Employment Laws: Employment laws are complex, and a severance lawyer ensures that your employer adheres to the relevant regulations. They can identify any potential breaches and take appropriate legal action to protect your rights.
  • Strategic Advice for Future Employment: Beyond the immediate concerns, a severance lawyer can provide strategic advice for your future employment. This includes guidance on non-compete clauses, reference letters, and other considerations that may impact your career.


While the ESA provides a baseline for notice or termination pay for short-term employees, common law recognizes the unique circumstances they face. In the event an employer fails to deliver the entitled termination pay, employees have recourse options, including filing a claim with the Ontario Ministry of Labour or pursuing legal action at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. For individuals navigating termination, seeking guidance from an employment lawyer is crucial to understanding entitlements, negotiating severance packages, and achieving optimal outcomes.

Consult with Our Severance Lawyers Today!

Understanding your rights and securing the best possible outcome in a termination situation is crucial. If you are a short-term employee facing termination or have questions about your entitlements, do not navigate these complexities alone. Our team of experienced severance lawyers is here to guide you every step of the way.

Here is what you can do:

  • Schedule a Consultation: Take the first step by scheduling a consultation with our dedicated severance lawyers. We will assess your situation, provide insights into your entitlements, and discuss the best course of action tailored to your needs.
  • Get Personalized Advice: Every termination case is unique, and our team is committed to providing personalized advice that suits your specific circumstances. Whether you need assistance with negotiating a severance package or navigating a legal dispute, we are here to help.
  • Protect Your Rights: Do not let uncertainty jeopardize your rights. Our severance lawyers are focused in employment law, ensuring that you receive the termination pay and severance you deserve while guiding you through the legal process.
  • Contact Us: Reach out to us today by phone at 1 (800) 771-7882 or via email at [email protected]. Our team is ready to address your concerns, answer your questions, and work towards a favorable resolution.

Facing termination is never easy, but with the right legal support, you can approach the situation with confidence. Take control of your future – contact us now for professional guidance and advocacy.


Don’t wait to resolve your employment dispute. Call us now and get started.

Contact us by phone toll-free at 1-800-771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.