First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

‘rule of thumb

Beware of the one month per year of service “rule”, part 4

I have written several times about cases which significantly depart from the so-called one month per year of service rule. There continues to be a seemingly never-ending stream of cases which confirm the perils of assuming that an employer’s liability for reasonable notice of termination will be capped at one month per year of employment.


, , , , , , ,

Avoiding common employment law misconceptions

Small to midsize employers, many HR professionals, and many lawyers proceed based upon completely inaccurate understandings of how employment law works. While there are many examples of this, there are three that I see regularly in my practice: the myth that the severance entitlement in Canada is one month per year, regardless of other factors […]


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New rule of thumb: 6 months’ pay per year of service?

So much for the rule of thumb that an employee should receive one month of notice for every year of service. The Toronto Star has reported on a recent wrongful dismissal decision that Ontario employers should consider, especially when hiring senior managers or executives.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beware of the one month per year of service rule: Part 2

Last October, I wrote a post cautioning employers to beware of using the one month per year of service “rule of thumb”. A recent case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has again affirmed that, depending on the circumstances, courts are willing to award short service employees significantly more than one month per year of service.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Advising the dismissed employee

For those of us that specialize in employment law, advising the recently-dismissed employee can be among the most challenging of experiences. In many cases, the employee is quite emotional, and more often than not, they have been filled with ideas about what the law requires by their colleagues, family, and friends. Not only do we have to encourage them to approach the situation objectively, but we also have to dispel them of many of the notions that have filled their head.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beware of using one month notice per year of service ‘rule of thumb’

One of the questions at the forefront of many employers’ minds when they are considering terminating an employee without cause is how much it is going to cost. Unless there is a written employment contract with an express termination clause, an employer’s obligation is to provide reasonable notice of termination. Since there is no set formula for determining the appropriate length of the reasonable notice period, employers (or their legal counsel) must estimate what they think the notice period could be, having regard to the employee’s age, length of service, character of employment, the availability of similar employment, and the employee’s skills and training. Often, employers and their legal counsel will use a rough rule of thumb of one month notice per year of service (although the courts have denied that such a rule of thumb exists).


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How much termination notice do you give a 70 year old?

Assessing how much notice of termination a particular employee is entitled to is a challenge most employers would like to avoid. As those of you who deal with the issue on a regular basis know, employment standards legislation sets out the minimum amount of notice, but it will almost never be sufficient unless the employee has an enforceable contract that limits them to the statutory amounts. In most cases, the common law will require that an employer provide “reasonable notice”, and though there are many myths, there are no easy ways to determine what is reasonable.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with psychological health and safety, a wrongful dismissal claim that applied ‘rule of thumb’ principal and a court ruling about a workplace accident because employee failed to follow instructions.


, , , , , , , , ,