Layoff

A layoff temporarily suspends the contract of employment between the employer and the employee. In other words, a laid off employee may be called back to work. The employee retains his employment relationship for the duration of his layoff and the contractual relationship is maintained.

An employee who is laid off for a period of 6 months or more must receive, within the time periods stipulated in the Act, a notice of termination of employment. The employer does not have to pay the vacation indemnity (4% or 6%) at the time of layoff, if the employee’s vacation was not planned in this period.

Permanent layoff

A permanent layoff is the permanent severing of the employment relationship by the employer for:

  • economic reasons. Example: financial difficulties, a decline in revenues
  • organizational reasons. Example: a reorganization resulting in the abolition or the merging of positions
  • technical reasons. Example: technological innovations.

An employer lays off his employee permanently when the employer no longer requires the employee’s services. The employer’s choice is based on objective criteria, such as:

  • performance
  • skills
  • versatility
  • seniority.

The employer must give the employee, within the time periods stipulated in the Act, a notice of termination of employment. At the time of  the permanent layoff, the employer must make sure that the employee receives all of the sums owing to him: wages, overtime, vacation indemnity (4% or 6%), etc.

Collective dismissal

A collective dismissal occurs when an employer terminates the employment of 10 employees or more of the same establishment over a period of 2 consecutive months or lays off at least 10 employees of the same establishment for a period of more than 6 months.

The employer must then send, within the time periods stipulated in the Act, the notice of collective dismissal to the Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and to the Commission des normes du travail. He must also post the notice in the establishment where the dismissed employees work and, where applicable, send a copy to the accredited association that represents them. At the time of the layoff, the employer must make sure that the employee receives all of the sums owing to him: wages, overtime, vacation indemnity (4% or 6%), etc.

Dismissal

A dismissal is the permanent severing of the employment relationship at the employer’s initiative for reasons related to the competence or behaviour of the employee.

Barring exceptions, an employer who dismisses an employee must give him, within the time periods stipulated in the Act, a notice of termination of employment. At the time of  the dismissal, the employer must make sure that the employee receives all of the sums owing to him: wages, overtime, vacation indemnity (4% or 6%), etc.

Resignation

Unlike a dismissal, a resignation is the permanent severing, at the employee’s initiative, of the employment relationship between an employer and an employee. At the time of  the dismissal, the employer must make sure that the employee receives all of the sums owing to him: wages, overtime, vacation indemnity (4% or 6%), etc.

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