Perren Blackett Law
An Association of Independent Law Practices


Still stuck in the mud - termination trend continues in Calgary

The price of oil again dipped below $40 in early August.  Not a good sign for our already beleaguered Calgary market.  In the wake of yet another slide in oil prices and gloomy predictions for the fall and winter months to come, employers may again look to their workforce for cost savings – which means that more terminations may be on the horizon.  We have already heard from two major oil companies who will be cutting deep in September. 

If you are looking to make employee cuts be sure to consider the full spectrum of termination obligations, as a start ask yourself: 

  1. Is there an employment contract in place with the employee that has a termination provision?
  2. What does the provincial employment legislation require you to pay to the employee?
  3. What have judges awarded employees in the past in similar circumstances?   What does the “common law” require for a severance?
  4. Is there anything notable about the employee that would hamper new employment?
  5. What does the market really look like out there?  Can you questimate how long it will take for the employee to find a new job?
  6. What elements of compensation need to be included in a severance – base salary, bonus, benefits, RRSP contributions, etc?
  7. Should the employer ask for a release in exchange for the severance?  Hint… YES!
  8. Is there a benefit to providing working notice to the employee instead of a severance payment?

In short, there are numerous legal questions to ask and it might help to have us assist you with the process of downsizing.

Termination can be tricky.  We can help.