FTC regulated: No

Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation

Remarks

No statutory limitations.

Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation

Remarks

No statutory limitations.

Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Remarks

No statutory limitations.

% of workforce under FTC: 13.7

Remarks

Statistics for 2011.
Source OECD statistics /Labour Force/Permanent temporary employment.
These statistics correspond to the percentage of temporary workers out of the total of employees reported. Temporary workers are based on the following definition: "A temporary job has a pre-determined end date or will end as soon as project is completed or a fixed term contract".

(http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx)

Maximum probationary (trial) period:

Remarks

No statutory limitations.

Obligation to provide reasons to the employee No

Remarks

No general obligation on the part of the employer to indicate the reasons for the dismissal to employees when dismissing them.
However, the employer shall provide a written statement indicating the reasons for dismissal only upon request by the employee or the inspector in the process of a complaint for unjust dismissal. According to sec. 241. (1) CLC, this only applies to employees described in sec. 240(1). This covers any employee:
(a) who has completed twelve consecutive months of continuous employment by an employer, and
(b) who is not a member of a group of employees subject to a collective agreement.
In addition this provision is subject to the restrictions set up in sec. 242(3.1): complaints of unjust dismissal do not cover lay-off due to lack of work or the discontinuance of a function .

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons

Remarks

The CLC does not contain as such a provision requiring that termination with notice be justified by a fair reason. However, this is implied from the division XIV of the Code on "unjust dismissal". This division provides for the right of an employee who has completed 12 consecutive months of continuous employment and is not covered by a collective agreement to make a complaint of unjust dismissal to the competent authority which may order reinstatement or compensation if the dismissal is found to be unjust. (sec. 240 and 242 CLC)
Complaint of unjust dismissal are not available to employees who have been laid off because of lack of work or because of the discontinuance of a function (sec. 242 (3.1) CLC)

Prohibited grounds: marital status, pregnancy, maternity leave, family responsibilities, filing a complaint against the employer, temporary work injury or illness, race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, religion, trade union membership and activities, disabilities, whistle blowing, raising occupational health and security concerns, ethnic origin

Remarks

Under the CLC, the following situations constitute invalid grounds for the dismissal of an employee:
- the employee's trade union membership and activities, participation in a general strike action or participation in proceedings against the employer's related to those matters (sec. 94 and 96 CLC);
- the employee has participated in proceeding or inquiry (filing a complaint, testifying) regarding occupational and health and safety matters. (sec. 147 CLC)
- the employee is pregnant or has requested maternity or parental leave (sec. 209.3 CLC);
- garnishment proceedings may be or have been taken against the employee (sec. 238, CLC); and
- the employee has been absent due to illness or injury, provided that he or she had worked for the employer for at least three months, and that his or her period of absence was not over 12 weeks. Nevertheless, the employee must submit a medical certificate to the employer within 15 days after returning to work (sec. 239 CLC).
- the employee is absent from work due to work-related illness or injury (sec. 239.1 CLC)

In addition, see the general prohibition of discrimination including in employment matters contained in the Canadian Human Rights Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. H-6: see sec. 3 on grounds of discrimination together with art. 7 on discriminatory practice in employment that prohibits an employer from refusing to employ or continuing to employ an individual on a prohibited grounds of discrimination.
See also sec. 14.1 on prohibition of retaliation for filing a complaint of discrimination.
(The prohibited grounds of discrimination are the following: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex (which includes pregnancy or child-birth), sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered [prior to March 2012: conviction for which a pardon has been granted])
Note that this Act only applies within the realm of federal jurisdiction; each provincial and territorial government has enacted its own anti-discrimination law.

Workers enjoying special protection: no protected groups

Remarks

No statutory provision found in the legislation reviewed.

Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks

Sec. 230(1)a) CLC.

Notice period:

Remarks

Sec. 230 CLC: An employer who dismisses a worker who has worked continuously for at least three consecutive months is obliged to give the worker notice of termination in writing at least two weeks in advance, or to pay compensation in lieu of notice except when the employee is dismissed for just cause (summary dismissal) (sec. 230, CLC).

tenure ≥ 6 months:

  • All: 2 week(s).

tenure ≥ 9 months:

  • All: 2 week(s).

tenure ≥ 2 years:

  • All: 2 week(s).

tenure ≥ 4 years:

  • All: 2 week(s).

tenure ≥ 5 years:

  • All: 2 week(s).

tenure ≥ 10 years:

  • All: 2 week(s).

tenure ≥ 20 years:

  • All: 2 week(s).

Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

Remarks

Sec. 230(1)b) CLC.

Notification to the public administration: No

Notification to workers' representatives: No

Remarks

However, notification to the trade union is foreseen by sec. 230(2) CLC in one specific situation namely where an employee bound by a collective agreement and whose position becomes redundant is authorized to displace an employee with less seniority. In that case, the employer must give at least two weeks' notice in writing to the trade union and the employee whose position becomes redundant and post a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place within the industrial establishment in which the employee is employed. Alternately, the employer may, as a result of the redundancy of the position, terminate the employment provided that he or she gives two week's wages to the employee.

Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

Approval by workers' representatives: No

Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned): Concerning at least 50 employees in an industrial establishment either simultaneously or within a period not exceeding 4 weeks.

Remarks

Sec. 212 CLC.
Note that the procedural requirements for collective dismissal may also apply to collective termination of a smaller number of employees (less than 50) in a particular occupational classification, industry or in an industrial
establishment if so provided in regulations made by the Governor in Council (sec. 227 b) CLC)

Note that in certain cases the requirements pertaining to collective dismissals may not apply:
- Waiver of collective termination provisions (sec. 228 CLC): On the submission of any person, the Minister may waive the application of any or all provisions governing collective dismissal with respect to any industrial establishment or any class of employees therein if it is shown to the satisfaction of the Minister that such application:
(a) would be or is unduly prejudicial to the
interests of the employees therein;
(b) would be or is unduly prejudicial to the interests of the employer;
(c) would be or is seriously detrimental to the operation of the industrial establishment;
(d) is not necessary, because measures for the assistance of redundant employees at that establishment that are substantially the same or to the same effect as the measures established by the provisions on collective termination have been established by collective agreement or otherwise.


- The Governor in Council may make regulations exempting employers from the application of the provision on collective termination with respect to employees on a seasonal or irregular basis (sec. 228 CLC).

Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

Remarks

As soon as notice has been submitted to the Minister and to the trade union or directly to the employees, the employer must set up a joint planning committee consisting of at least four members, half of whom should be representatives of the redundant employees and the others, representatives of the employer (sec. 214 CLC).

The objective of the joint planning committee is to develop an adjustment programme aimed at eliminating the necessity for the termination of employment, to minimizing the impact of the termination on the redundant employees and assisting them in obtaining other employment (sec. 221(1) CLC).

Notification to the public administration: Yes

Remarks

Sec. 212 CLC: the employer must give the Minister of Labour written notification at least 16 weeks before the date of the first dismissal. A copy of this notice should also be submitted to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.

Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

Remarks

Sec. 212(2) CLC: Written notification at least 16 weeks before the date of the first dismissal to any trade union representing the redundant employees concerned. Where any redundant employee is not represented by a trade union, a copy of that notice should be given to the employee or immediately posted by the employer in a conspicuous place within the industrial establishment in which that employee is employed.

Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

Approval by workers' representatives: No

Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

Remarks

Within the joint planning committee, the employer participates through its representatives to the development of the adjustment programme aimed at eliminating the necessity for the termination of employment, to minimizing the impact of the termination on the redundant employees and assisting them in obtaining other employment (sec. 221(1) CLC).

Priority rules for re-employment: No

Severance pay:

Remarks

See sec. 235 CLC:
Upon termination of employment by the employer, except in the event of dismissal for just cause (summary dismissal), an employee who has completed 12 months of continuous employment is entitled to severance pay which shall amount to the greater of:
- two days' wages (at the regular rate for regular hours of work) for each completed year of service; or
- five days' wages (at the regular rate for regular hours of work).

tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 day(s)

tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 day(s)

tenure ≥ 1 year: 5 day(s)

tenure ≥ 4 years: 8 day(s)

tenure ≥ 5 years: 10 day(s)

tenure ≥ 10 years: 20 day(s)

tenure ≥ 20 years: 40 day(s)

Redundancy payment:

Remarks

No specific redundancy payment. An employee whose employment is terminated by way of redundancy will be entitled to severance pay as provided in sec. 235 CLC.

tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 day(s)

tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 day(s)

tenure ≥ 1 year: 5 day(s)

tenure ≥ 2 years: 5 day(s)

tenure ≥ 4 years: 8 day(s)

tenure ≥ 5 years: 10 day(s)

tenure ≥ 10 years: 20 day(s)

tenure ≥ 20 years: 40 day(s)

Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

Remarks

Sec. 242(4)a) CLC (see below).

Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method): In the event of unjust dismissal, the arbitrator may order the employer to pay compensation not exceeding the amount of money that is equivalent to the remuneration that would, but for the dismissal, have been paid by the employer to the person.

Remarks

Sec. 242(4)a) CLC.
Note that in addition, the arbitrator can also require the employer to take any similar action that is equitable to require of the employer in order to remedy or counteract any consequence of dismissal (sec. 242(4)c) CLC).

Reinstatement available: Yes

Remarks

Sec. 242(4)b) CLC.

Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

Remarks

Sec. 241(2) CLC: on receipt of a complaint of unjust dismissal, the inspector shall endeavour to assist the parties to settle the
complaint or cause another inspector to do so.

Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): none

Remarks

Arbitration is the ordinary way of settling unjust dismissal cases.
Note: civil remedies for wrongful dismissal are not addressed here.

Existing arbitration: Yes

Remarks

Arbitration is the ordinary way of settling unjust dismissal cases.
- Only employees who have completed 12 consecutive months of continuous employment with the same employer, and who are not members of a group of employees subject to a collective agreement, are entitled to make a complaint for unjust dismissal (sec. 240 CLC)
- Unjust dismissals complaints shall be first submitted to an inspector within 90 days from the date of dismissal. The inspector shall first attempt to conciliate the parties. If conciliation fails, the inspector informs the Minister of Labour who then refers the complaint to an arbitrator (adjudicator) appointed by him for decision (sec. 240(2), 241(3), 242 CLC)
Every order of an adjudicator is final and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court. (sec. 243(1) CLC)

Notes / Remarks

Notes

This section covers complaints of and remedies for unjust dismissal which are regulated by the CLC and does not address civil remedies for wrongful dismissal.