A two weeks notice refers to the period of time that employers or employees generally provide one another to terminate an employment contract.
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What Is A Two Weeks Notice
A two weeks notice refers to a notice period that employers or employees give one another to terminate an employment contract.
In Quebec employment law, employers are required to provide a two weeks notice to terminate an employment contract.
This requirement is set out in Quebec’s Act respecting labour standards.
Employees are also required to give reasonable notice to their employers when they intend to terminate their employment contract.
As such, it’s common for employees to give a two weeks notice to their employers.
Two Weeks Notice Under Quebec Laws
Under Quebec labour laws, employers are mandatorily required to provide their employees a two weeks notice before terminating their employment.
Article 82 of the Act respecting labour standards in Quebec states that “the employer must give written notice to an employee before terminating his contract of employment or laying him off for six months or more.”
The employer’s notice obligation is a function of the employee’s seniority, as follows:
- Less than 3 months seniority: no notice required
- Between 3 months and 1 year seniority: 1 week notice
- Between 1 year and 5 years seniority: 2 weeks notice
- Between 5 years and 10 years seniority: 4 weeks notice
- 10 years and more seniority: 8 weeks notice
In addition, article 2091 of the Civil Code of Quebec states that “either party to a contract for an indeterminate term may terminate it by giving notice of termination to the other party.”
As for the notice period, the Civil Code states “the notice of termination shall be given in reasonable time, taking into account, in particular, the nature of the employment, the specific circumstances in which it is carried on and the duration of the period of work.”
In other words, both the employee and employer must consider the nature of the employment and circumstances to determine what is a reasonable notice period.
Two Weeks Notice Exclusions
Although Quebec laws require that employers legally provide notice to their employees before terminating them, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Here are the circumstances where the Quebec labour laws exempt employers from giving any notice, including a two weeks notice:
- The employee has been employed by the company for less than three months
- The employment contract has a specific end date
- The employee has committed a serious fault
- When the end of the employment contract or layoff is caused by a superior force
In the first instance, it’s common that employers to terminate an employee without a notice period during the employee’s probationary period.
In the second instance, if the employment contract is for a fixed term or for a specific project that is set to expire, the employer does not need to give notice.
The third instance is when the employee commits a serious fault on the job, such as committing fraud or theft.
The fourth element targets cases where the employer is required to terminate the employment contract caused by an Act of God or “force majeure” event, such as a manufacturing plant being destroyed by fire.
Two Weeks Notice Alternative
Employers have the ability to offer employees a compensatory indemnity instead of a two weeks notice.
A compensatory indemnity is a payment that is equal to the employee’s regular wage (excluding overtime) for the two weeks or the remaining period left in the notice.
For example, if the employer wants to terminate the contract without giving a two weeks notice, it must pay two weeks of compensatory indemnity to the employee.
Alternatively, if the employer puts an end to the contract with a one-week notice, it must pay the equivalent of another one week in compensatory indemnity giving the employee a total of two weeks.
So there you have it folks!
What is a two weeks notice in Quebec employment law?
In a nutshell, a two weeks notice refers to the notice that employers and employees give one another to terminate an employment contract.
Under the Quebec Labour Standards Act, employers are required to give a two weeks notice to employees who have worked for them for more than one year but under five.
Under the Civil Code of Quebec, employers and employees are required to give one another reasonable notice taking into consideration the nature of the job and overall circumstances.
If your employment contract has been terminated or you’re dealing with a potential conflict under an employment contract, employers and employees should consult a qualified employment lawyer for advice.
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