Employee Termination: Is it time to let go?

0

It doesn’t matter what type of business you run, one of the most strenuous tasks to take on is employee termination.  Regardless of the difficulty, it is necessary that as an employer, you are professional and compliant. When it’s time to terminate an employee, it’s crucial that you understand how to do so properly.

Ontario’s Labour Law on Employee Termination

The Ministry of Labour precisely outlines the policies around severance and termination for employers. Under the clause for “termination of employment” in the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the Ministry explains the situation in reference to alike terms. This includes language used for an employee to be “fired”, “dismissed”, “let go”, “permanently laid off” or “discharged”.

In case of an employee dismissal, your staff have the right to be informed in advance if they’ve been employed with your business for at least three months. The length of employment decides the amount of notice that is required. When termination is in effect, the Ministry states that in most situations, the notification of dismissal must be:

  • in writing
  • addressed to the employee
  • provided to the employee:
      • in person
      • by courier
      • by mail, fax or email
      • in a sealed envelope at the employee’s residence with a person be at least 16 years old

With the viable pitfalls of some of the above mentioned delivery methods, it is optimal to provide the notification in person.

7 Tips to Effectively Manage Employee Termination

Although there is no proven way to dismiss an employee, there are some HR best practices you can follow. As an employer, you should be:

  1. Respectful– It is crucial to protect the reputation of your enterprise when letting go of an employee. The way you handle terminations will influence the success of your recruitment and hiring efforts.
  2. Discreet – Make sure the termination is confidential. No other employees should hear about it before the termination, and, the details of the dismissal should not be shared while you meet with your employees afterwards Brief – The briefer the termination meeting, the better. Discuss all of the points that needs to be address and be clear and concise in doing so.
  3. Honest – While the Ministry of Labour does not demand most provincially-regulated employers to provide an explanation for a termination without cause, you can still offer a few reasons without referencing personal problems or your employee’s mannerism. An appropriate explanation helps to comfort the employee and diminish negative reactions.
  4. In the Presence of a Witness – To avoid unwanted legal headaches, you should have a witness present from Human Resources. If you don’t have an HR department, ask someone from your senior management team to sit in and take notes.
  5. Prepared for an Exit Interview – When the termination news settles, you should provide an undisclosed exit survey or conduct an exit interview during the process of employee termination. This helps you to identify whether harassment, discrimination, or a failure to accommodate were factors in the dismissal.
  6. Don’t terminate on the Spot – If the cause for the employee dismissal is due to poor performance, it should not come as a surprise to them. Make sure to keep copies of performance reviews and explain that you’ve given them opportunities to improve. If there are allegations of serious misconduct, you can suspend the employee pending an examination into the issue before making any termination decisions.

If you are in need of an HR team to consult about employee termination, Here’s Why Outsourcing HR is a Good Business Decision.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you run, one of the most strenuous tasks to take on is employee termination.  Regardless of the difficulty, it is necessary that as an employer, you are professional and compliant. When it’s time to terminate an employee, it’s crucial that you understand how to do so properly.

Ontario’s Labour Law on Employee Termination

The Ministry of Labour precisely outlines the policies around severance and termination for employers. Under the clause for “termination of employment” in the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the Ministry explains the situation in reference to alike terms. This includes language used for an employee to be “fired”, “dismissed”, “let go”, “permanently laid off” or “discharged”.

In case of an employee dismissal, your staff have the right to be informed in advance if they’ve been employed with your business for at least three months. The length of employment decides the amount of notice that is required. When termination is in effect, the Ministry states that in most situations, the notification of dismissal must be:

  • in writing
  • addressed to the employee
  • provided to the employee:
      • in person
      • by courier
      • by mail, fax or email
      • in a sealed envelope at the employee’s residence with a person be at least 16 years old

With the viable pitfalls of some of the above mentioned delivery methods, it is optimal to provide the notification in person.

7 Tips to Effectively Manage Employee Termination

Although there is no proven way to dismiss an employee, there are some HR best practices you can follow. As an employer, you should be:

  1. Respectful– It is crucial to protect the reputation of your enterprise when letting go of an employee. The way you handle terminations will influence the success of your recruitment and hiring efforts.
  2. Discreet – Make sure the termination is confidential. No other employees should hear about it before the termination, and, the details of the dismissal should not be shared while you meet with your employees afterwards Brief – The briefer the termination meeting, the better. Discuss all of the points that needs to be address and be clear and concise in doing so.
  3. Honest – While the Ministry of Labour does not demand most provincially-regulated employers to provide an explanation for a termination without cause, you can still offer a few reasons without referencing personal problems or your employee’s mannerism. An appropriate explanation helps to comfort the employee and diminish negative reactions.
  4. In the Presence of a Witness – To avoid unwanted legal headaches, you should have a witness present from Human Resources. If you don’t have an HR department, ask someone from your senior management team to sit in and take notes.
  5. Prepared for an Exit Interview – When the termination news settles, you should provide an undisclosed exit survey or conduct an exit interview during the process of employee termination. This helps you to identify whether harassment, discrimination, or a failure to accommodate were factors in the dismissal.
  6. Don’t terminate on the Spot – If the cause for the employee dismissal is due to poor performance, it should not come as a surprise to them. Make sure to keep copies of performance reviews and explain that you’ve given them opportunities to improve. If there are allegations of serious misconduct, you can suspend the employee pending an examination into the issue before making any termination decisions.

If you are in need of an HR team to consult about employee termination, Here’s Why Outsourcing HR is a Good Business Decision.

Jacob Maslow is our Editor, and has extensive experience with writing about global financial matters. He also runs a successful SEO consulting business, Mekomi Marketing