Determining the actual notice period an employee is entitled to upon termination is often a frustrating exercise for employers. This is especially true of the more recent case-law which has tended to place more emphasis on certain factors (age and tenure) at the expense of other factors (nature of position and compensation). There have been widely divergent awards in recent years. This undermines the ability of employers to plan, with some certainty, for large scale restructurings and the required notice/severance to provide staff.
A recent decision of the Divisional Court raises the issue of when an individual can be found personally liable in a wrongful dismissal claim. This will be particularly pertinent for small business owners where confusion may arise as to whether the employer is a corporation or an individual.
Perhaps because of the increased press directed to union conflicts, or perhaps due solely to a misunderstanding of the employment relationship, many HR professionals perceive that they have the right to suspend an employee based on some perceived or actual misconduct by that employee. However, while most union contracts do provide the right of suspension to the employer, there is no similar right available at common law.
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