Do I need to give the employee a reason that I’m letting them go?

No. This is a common misconception amongst employees – they believe that their employer owes them a reason for their termination, or that they cannot fire them without one. The truth is that any employee can be let go at practically any time for practically any reason, so long as they are paid out properly. This is considered a ‘termination without cause,’ and should be followed according to the section above.

Not only do you not owe the employee a reason in a without cause termination, but it can be risky to provide one. Employers are obligated to follow provincial human rights laws, which means that employees cannot be discriminated against based on personal characteristics such as their race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or disability etc. (each province’s human rights code contains a full list of reasons). If an employee connects the employer’s given reasons to a protected human rights ground then the employer could later be on the hook in a human rights claim.