Leaving job by mutual agreement (Canadian edition)
July 29, 2014 10:59 AM   Subscribe

My employer and I just agreed that I am not a good fit for the job. What should I do? I'm in Ontario, Canada. I realize that similar questions have asked, but am specifically looking for answers that take Canadian law into account. Thanks!

What can I do/not do/sign/not sign that will help me be eligible for EI and anything else I may not have thought of yet?
posted by ITheCosmos to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hi there. I have been laid off twice in Canada (BC).

If you have any expectations about EI or a severance payment, you should really talk to an employment lawyer. You can probably find a free consultation to start.

I'm a little worried by the fact that you said that "My employer and I agreed that I am not a good fit for the job."

While you'll probably qualify for EI, if they decide to lay you off without cause (ie, you didn't do anything wrong) you may be eligible for a severance payment. Depending on a number of factors, including your age and your salary and your level in the org, the severance payment will be more than EI.

However, I wonder if you are instead resigning your position? In which case they likely owe you no severance. Again generally speaking, the tactic for employees who are whistling in the graveyard is to a) do everything they ask of you to demonstrate you are trying very hard to be a good fit and b) *acknowledge* what they are asking of you, and state clearly that you are trying to modify or improve your performance.

As said, if you both agree you're not a good fit, then I am wondering if you could be perceived to be resigning.

Talk to a lawyer, but you should probably send an email to the manager you were talking to acknowledging the meeting, and then stating that "I will continue to work hard to meet your expectations for this job as best that I can."

And talk to a lawyer for a half hour to plan your next steps.

FWIW, when I was "downsized" by government 5 years ago, I paid a law firm to look over my severance agreement and package. It was completely fair, although the bastards paid me out in a lump sum in December to get me off their books, but I ended up losing a lot of money (despite putting a bunch of it into RRSP's) to the bloody taxman.

So getting some professional advice from at least an accountant would be a good idea too, if the payout is large enough (I think mine was for 6 month's salary).
posted by KokuRyu at 11:23 AM on July 29, 2014

It sounds like your ROE (Record of Employment) will indicate either a QUIT or a DISMISSED. If its a QUIT, you will not generally qualify for Employment Insurance (unless you can establish that it was unreasonable or unsafe for you to continue working). If it's a DISMISSED, you will likely qualify for EI if the reason for dismissal is not related to any misconduct on your part.

Basically, you want your ROE to say DISMISSED, and you want your employer to say that you were not suitable for the position when the EI adjudicator contacts them for more information.

Note: my EI knowledge is about 2-3 years old.
posted by joelhunt at 12:46 PM on July 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yep, you want your ROE to say DISMISSED (Code M). This leaves you eligible for EI. I honestly do not think you have any reason to consult with a lawyer if your main concern is EI eligibility.

I looked this up and the minimum severance required by law in Ontario is the same as the minimum in BC, which is one week per year. If you are not in a protected group (eg disabled, over 40), your employment contract doesn't specify different severance terms, and you think you have a reasonable chance at getting another job soon, I bet this isn't lawyer worthy either. Just take the money at dismissal and walk away.

If your employer offers additional money above the legal minimum for severance in exchange for signing a letter, lawyer.
If your employment contract has alternative severance terms, lawyer.
If you are union, lawyer.
If you are disabled or over 40, lawyer.
If you are in general asked to sign anything, lawyer.

To summarize, don't quit and don't sign anything without a lawyer's advice.
posted by crazycanuck at 1:59 PM on July 29, 2014

I will add that you do not have to sign anything to get the minimum severance required by law. If you are offered a piece of paper to sign in that scenario, simply ignore it.
posted by crazycanuck at 2:03 PM on July 29, 2014

Call the Ontario Labour Board. (Easily Googled). They will be able to help you with every single one of your questions, and will probably answer some you haven't thought of.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:55 PM on July 29, 2014

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