The Notice of Termination is sent to an employee that is being terminated. It should always be prepared with careful consideration of legal issues, and also the terminated employee's feelings. You should always discuss the termination with the employee before sending the Notice via Ownr so there is a clear understanding of the reasons for the termination.
Date of Termination
If the employee's termination is effective immediately, the Date of Termination should be the current date. If you are requiring the employee to continue working at the company for a set period of time before termination, you should enter the employee's expected last day of work. It is most common for the termination to be effective immediately.
With or Without Cause
When terminating an employee, the employer must decide if the termination is "With Cause" or "Without Cause". In the vast majority of cases, the termination is considered to be "Without Cause" because the employee has not engaged in deliberately improper conduct that causes harm to the company. In these instances, the employee is entitled to receive termination pay (often called, "pay in lieu of notice").
When an employee is being terminated for serious misconduct and wrongdoing, the termination can be characterized as "With Cause". In that case, the employee is not entitled to any termination pay or prior notice of the termination. However, there is a very high standard of misconduct required to justify a "With Cause" termination. The employee's misconduct must be extremely serious and harmful to the company. "With Cause" termination usually follows several written warnings from the employer.
Even when there has been questionable employee conduct, employers regularly characterize terminations as "Without Cause" and pay termination pay so they are not accused of wrongfully terminating employees.
Calculating termination pay is a challenge for employers. There is no exact formula for calculating the amount of termination pay that an employee is entitled to receive when they are terminated without cause. In each case, the employer is required to objectively assess the terminated employee's individual circumstances, including their likelihood of finding equivalent work, and pay them accordingly.
In Ontario, the government offers a termination pay calculator to assist employers. While this tool can be helpful, it is intended only for informational purposes and won't necessarily be accurate for a specific situation. The Ontario government's termination pay calculator can be accessed here:
A Release is often included with a Notice of Termination when the employer is offering to pay the terminated employee more than the minimum amount required by law. By signing the Release, the employee is accepting the increased termination pay offered by the employer. In exchange for the increased termination pay, the employee is waiving their rights to claim additional money from the employer or to start a lawsuit for any reason.
A Release has a serious impact on the employee's legal rights, so it must be given to the employee with enough time to read it, consider it, and obtain legal advice (if the employee chooses to do so).