What Are The Benefits Of A Demand Letter?

What Are the Benefits Of A Demand Letter?

At times, resolving a workplace dispute will require more than a polite conversation. Disputing parties may misunderstand each other or are otherwise at an impasse with no clear way forward. In such circumstances, a demand letter may be an ideal tool used as a means of resolving a dispute before it escalates further. 

Demand letters are written documents that present a party’s position regarding a legal dispute and act as a formal request for payment or action. In employment law, demand letters are commonly sent to employers regarding: 

  • Termination entitlements; 
  • Human Rights considerations, such as requests for accommodations; 
  • Workplace investigations; and 
  • Compliance with workplace health and safety rules.

In many situations, a well-written demand letter can efficiently resolve a workplace dispute before it escalates to a point where litigation is the only option.  This article will explain the benefits of a demand letter, what happens if it does not work, and how an employment and Human Rights lawyer can help. 

How Demand Letters Are Helpful

Demand letters summarize the details of a dispute and define the issue(s) to be resolved. They provide clarity about the matter at hand for all parties to understand.  A demand they can then lay out the resolution the sender is seeking; such as monetary compensation or accommodations. 

A demand letter can also provide clear notice that the sender intends to proceed with legal action if their demands are not met.  Accordingly, the recipient of a well-written demand letter may be more inclined to negotiate in good faith with the sender now that they understand how serious the matter has become.  

Sometimes disputes are drawn out because one party is unresponsive or outright refuses to negotiate. In these circumstances, a formal demand letter can explain there is a possibility of legal action unless forthright and honest settlement discussions take place immediately. 

Furthermore, demand letters provide clear and specific details about what the sender is requesting and why. Such clarity helps to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunications and can help expedite the resolution of the dispute. 

By resolving disputes quicker, demand letters can also help reduce legal costs for everyone involved.  Since they present a clear and concise request for payment or action, they can cut through early arguments about ‘how’ the dispute arose and allow the parties to spend their time on settlement discussions. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Experienced Employment Lawyers

Contact us by phone toll-free at 1-866-561-2176 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.

What Happens If a Demand Letter Does Not Work?

Despite all the benefits outlined above, demand letters do not always work as intended. Then a workplace dispute may only be resolved by going through the appropriate legal process, and the parties incurring legal costs. The parties may still exchange demand letters to negotiate a resolution and discontinue the legal claim. 

Claims for legal entitlements flowing from termination of employment can be addressed in most cases through the civil court system. This includes claims for wrongful or constructive dismissal, which can also include legal claims for: 

In cases where the emphasis is predominantly on violations of the ESA, it may be best to proceed through the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Where the workplace dispute is based primarily on Human Rights issues, then filing an Application at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal may be the best approach. 

Anyone looking to commence a legal proceeding should consult with a lawyer promptly to determine which process to use. Every case depends on its own facts, and pursuing your claim through the wrong legal proceeding may hurt your case.  

How an Employment and Human Rights Lawyer Can Help

Whether you are an employee hoping to send a demand letter or an employer who just received one, it is best to determine your next course of action by consulting with an employment and Human Rights lawyer.

An employment and Human Rights lawyer has the training, experience and expertise to help you:

  • Prepare a persuasive demand or response letter with appropriate legal support for your legal position; 
  • Understand your legal entitlements and obligations; 
  • Determine the best next course of action following a demand letter; 
  • Navigate negotiations and the appropriate legal process; and
  • Maximize the chances of achieving your desired result while minimizing your legal risks. 

In any given situation, there is no substitute for promptly consulting an employment and Human Rights lawyer where there is a workplace dispute. 


Demand letters can be effective tools for resolving disputes, and have many benefits. Where demand letters fail, the only option may be to proceed through the appropriate legal process. An employment and human rights lawyer can help prepare the demand letter to be as persuasive and effective as possible and provide legal advice about the next steps where this does not achieve the desired result. 

Contact Us

Whether you are an employer or an employee looking for assistance with resolving a workplace dispute or navigating a legal proceeding, our experienced wrongful dismissal lawyers at Achkar Law are happy to help. Contact us by phone toll-free at +1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we would be happy to assist.

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