Reasonable Notice Period




Featured by as most frequently recommended employment lawyer.

When an employer wants to terminate an employee without cause, they must provide the appropriate amount of “notice” or “pay in lieu of notice” to that employee


​Termination Provision

Instead of providing four weeks of working notice to an employee, the employer could provide them with 4 weeks of pay in lieu of working notice. In such a case, the employee does not need to spend those four weeks actually coming into work. The amount of notice the employer must give the employee when dismissing them from employment depends on many factors. The notice period is important because it will determine the amount of “severance” owed to the employee. There are several sources to consider in determining an employee’s notice period upon termination. The Employment Standards Act sets minimum entitlements that a terminated employee must receive, based on their length of service. However, employers can only provide these minimums if there is an enforceable employment agreement and termination provision in place that limits the employee to the statutory minimums. Employers will often attempt to include a termination provision in an employment agreement as a way to limit the amount of notice they owe the employee. However, termination provisions are often not enforceable, for a variety of reasons, in which case the length of the notice period is calculated according to the common law.

​Among other things, the courts consider: the length of employment, the position of the employee, the reason for their dismissal, the employee’s compensation, how the employee first became involved with the employer, and whether the employer acted fairly and in good faith, to name a few. Every case is different and the above factors will be considered to determine the appropriate common law reasonable notice period. Normally, 24 months is the maximum notice period available to an employee, although this amount may be extended in truly exceptional cases. Employment law cases relevant to this area of law include: Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd. (1997), 152 D.L.R. (4th) 1, (1997) 3 S.C.R. 701; Machtinger v HOJ Industries (1992), 91 D.L.R. (4th) 491 (S.C.C.) and Bardal v. Globe & Mail (1960), 24 D.L.R. (2d) 140 (H.C.) Please note that the above information does not constitute legal advice. It is general information about the law. If you require legal advice with an employment issue, please contact the experts at Ball Professional Corporation.


Featured Publications

Canadian Employment Law

Mr. Ball is author of the authoritative and definitive text Canadian Employment Law - published by Canada Law Book (a division of Thomson Reuters). The text is used and cited by lawyers, law schools and judges across Canada.

To order Mr. Ball's Canadian Employment Law please visit the Carswell Store by clicking here or on the button below.


“ Stacey Ball is the ultimate in employment lawyers. He got me an excellent settlement and I referred him to fellow long term employees whom I know were very happy in their outcome. I cannot recommend him enough; his name alone will give you clout. This is the guy who wrote the book. He is the best. ”
- John Cunningham, Toronto, ON

“ I was strongly advised by another client to see Stacey Ball. At the initial consultation I found Stacey to be very candid, honest and confident. He was very knowledgeable and upfront about reasonable expectations. He acted quickly on my behalf, which resulted in a fair settlement. I would recommend Stacey to anyone who wishes to use a pro, who knows the law, and is the best employment lawyer in the business. ”
- Todd Kemp, Oshawa, ON

“ I would highly recommend Stacey Ball as an employment lawyer. He was honest, hard working on my behalf and obtained an excellent settlement. I found him to be the top and best employment lawyer I could have obtained. ”
- Lou T. Richmond Hill, ON

“ Stacey Ball is the best employment lawyer you can have on your side in Toronto. There is no employment lawyer representing employees with a stronger track record than him. In my experience, he gets the results that meet your needs, even against the most stubborn employers. Had I not gone with Stacey, I would have gotten nothing because that was what my employer insisted on until he intervened on my behalf. He is the best and top employment lawyer. ”
- James Yu, Toronto, ON

“ I first used Stacey over a decade ago to review personal and business employment contracts. Stacey is arguably the best employment law lawyer in both Canada and south of the border. His intimate knowledge of the law is second to none. He is readily available for any situation which requires a quick, frank and authentic response. I would highly recommend him for both individuals and organizations alike.​ ”
- Antoinette St. Angelo, V.P. & Director of Production Services, Toronto, ON