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Does your length of service affect your severance?

Severance and your length of service. Does it matter?

Do lawyers and human resource professionals take into account your length of service when calculating your severance? The short answer is yes.

terminated stampWhen calculating what an appropriate “severance” amount will be we  take a look at certain relevant factors. Once these relevant factors have been properly considered by a Court, the matter of the length of notice ultimately becomes an issue of Judgment.   One of the relevant factors to be considered is the length of service of an employee. It is a very important factor in the determination of reasonable notice. By giving weight to the employee’s length of services in the calculation of reasonable, courts have implicitly recognized a limited proprietary right to one’s employment which grows the longer one has been employed.

One of the leading wrongful dismissal case that deals with this is the case of Ansari v. British Columbia Power Authority where the court said ” For reasons which are largely subjective and which I would not presume to disturb, the law requires a longer notice period for a long-term employee even though discharged employees of the same age, skill and responsibility suffering under the same economic factors must be assumed to require an equal period to obtain equivalent employment. The reasons for this anomaly may be that a long-term employee has a moral claim which has matured into a legal entitlement to a longer notice period. “

In summary – the length of service as a variable does however have a functional aspect to it – the longer you work for your employer the more difficult it is to find alternate employment.

Always remember – we try not to calculate reasonable notice (employee payout at termination) by using a rule of thumb. We always try and consider all relevant factors – and weight those factors in determining how much severance should be paid.

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