EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT EFFECTIVITY: WHAT IF I GET TERMINATED BEFORE I EVEN START WORKING?
Most people think that an employment contract only starts on the first day of work. Of course, why shouldn’t it be? You technically start training, performing tasks, and doing all that your job entails on your first day at the job right? Did you know, however, that this is actually not the case at all?
When a job is offered by your employer, and you accept that offer you are theoretically privy to an employment contract. This holds true whether it was presented through writing or through word of mouth.
Employment laws in Canada states that “Absent an express contractual provision to the contrary, an employee who is terminated without cause is entitled to reasonable notice or damages in lieu of notice.”
While it is all clear and specific on the Employment Standards Act (ESA) which notice period and severance you are entitled to if you have been dismissed by your employer, you’d be surprised to know that this provision still holds true when you are terminated prior to starting the new job.
When Does This Hold True?
A person who has accepted an offer from an employer in principle has an implied employment contract, although it is unwritten. By default, these implied contracts will hold true for an indefinite duration until an agreement has been signed which means that implied contracts would not include provisions and clauses relating to severance pay before you start your job. This simply means that, if terminated prior to starting you are entitled to severance pay.
How Do Employers Remedy This Provision?
Of course, all employers do not want to pay out of pocket for a person that is barely an employee. But the only way that they can eliminate the employee’s right to a severance pay prior to employment is to have them sign an employment contract with a probationary clause prior to starting the job.
How Does This Work?
An employer would have to offer the job. With it is the written contract that includes a probationary clause removing the right to a severance upon premature termination. But it must not end there; employers would have to make the written contract effective immediately to be viable. Otherwise, it would not be binding, and employers would still owe the employee severance prior to starting work.
If you are having a hard time understanding your employment contract, or anything regarding your job in general, our employment law in Toronto can help. To learn more, call us at 647-872-3484 today!