Mass Terminations: Telus Cutting 6,000 Jobs

Discipline and Dismissals

Telus Corp. recently announced that it is cutting 6,000 jobs. Other telecommunication giants have also reviewed their workforces in recent months, including Bell and Rogers Communications Inc., so perhaps more terminations are on the horizon. As we have seen in recent years, many organizations, including the banks, go through regular downsizings that involve mass terminations.

What does this mean from an employment law perspective? Are the rules different for a mass termination as opposed to a “regular” termination?

Mass Termination Rules

In Ontario, when an employer lets 50 or more employees go within a four-week period, special rules apply. This is often referred to as mass termination, and the special rules apply even when the employees who are let go are in different locations, as the statute refers to an employer’s “establishment”, which is broadly defined.

In a mass termination, the amount of notice is not based on the employees’ length of employment, but on the number of employees who have been let go. An employer must give:

  • Eight weeks’ notice if the employment of 50 to 199 employees is to be terminated,
  • 12 weeks’ notice if the employment of 200 to 499 employees is to be terminated, or
  • 16 weeks’ notice if the employment of 500 or more employees is to be terminated.

For example, under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000, an employee who is let go after five years of service would generally be entitled to five weeks of paid notice or pay in lieu of notice under individual termination rules, but if that employee is one of 100 employees whose employment is terminated at an employer’s establishment within a four-week period then that employee would be entitled to eight weeks of paid notice or pay in lieu thereof.

Notice of Termination of Employment – Form 1 Ontario

Mass Termination in Ontario

When a mass termination occurs, the employer must submit Form 1 (Notice of termination of employment) to the Director of Employment Standards and the notice of mass termination is not considered to be effective until the Director of Employment Standards receives the Form 1. In addition, the employer must post a copy of the Form 1 provided to the Director of Employment Standards in the workplace where it will come to the attention of the employees it affects on the first day of the notice period.

Mass Termination in Other Provinces

While the above is applicable for Ontario, other jurisdictions within Canada have similar (but different) rules for mass termination in place.

Help for Employers Considering Termination

If you are an employer considering any termination, including a large-scale one, you should seek legal advice from an Employment Lawyer to ensure that you are complying with the law and minimizing potential liability.

Help for Employees Who Have Been Dismissed

If you are an employee who has been dismissed, you should seek legal advice from an Employment Lawyer as well, in order to ensure that you get what you are entitled to; it may be a lot more than you think.

Other Blogs

Stuart and others on the team at Rudner Law are frequent contributors to the following sites: 

First Reference Employment Law Resources
Canadian HR Reporter Blog
Rudner Employment Lawyer in the Lawyer's Daily
Legal Matters Employment Law Canada

Fire Away with Stuart Rudner

Fire Away! The Employment Law Show

Rudner Law hosts a monthly Q&A show streamed live on Facebook and to Youtube.

Rudner Law's Employment Law Newsletter

Join our Email List

Stay Up To Date. Subscribe To Our Newsletter.