Employers across Ontario are double-checking their contracts since the Ontario Court of Appeal released its judgment in Waksdale v Swegon North America Inc., earlier this month. The court held that if an Employment Agreement contains a termination-with-cause provision that breaches the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the termination-without-cause provision will be rendered unenforceable as well. This is true even if the employer was not relying on the for cause section and had proceeded on a without cause basis. Even a severability clause cannot save a provision in this context.
Some employers are choosing to provide employees with work from home allowances or reimbursing them for certain work from home expenses. Where employers are considering this they should ensure that they create clear and fair policies.
Almost all employers require new employees to sign an employment contract. And almost all employment contracts have a termination clause. And most of the termination clauses have a provision which states that the employer has the right to terminate an employee for just cause without notice. This case suggests most of these termination clauses are not enforceable.