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Severance Agreements - Sawers McFarlane

What is Severance?

Severance is a term for any package of pay and benefits paid when a worker’s employment ends. It is generally available only when the employee’s departure is involuntary (for example, in situations involving a layoff, a termination with or without cause, or a retirement). Severance packages can vary widely depending on the unique circumstances of your case and the area where you live; possibilities may range from a small lump sum payment to a comprehensive package that includes salary, vacation pay, benefits and even stock options, as well as employee assistance programs.

The Law of Severance

In Canada, employment laws and regulations vary from province to province, but the laws in all provinces prescribe minimum standards for severance packages; some employers may choose to offer their employees severance that goes above and beyond the statutory minimums. In the absence of a written agreement, however, the statutory minimum severance rules usually apply. Generally speaking, severance amounts will increase in proportion to the amount of time an employee has worked for the company.

What Happens When Your Employment Ends?

If you are facing the end of an employment relationship, the first step to determining your entitlement to severance is to refer to your original employment contract. This may set forth specific procedures and policies that will affect your rights and options in the event of your termination. In some cases, your employer may choose to pay you a severance payment “in lieu of notice,” meaning that you will not be given advance notice of your termination, but you will be paid for some set period of time as if you were still employed.

If you have questions about your entitlement to severance, or if you believe you were entitled to severance that you have not received, you should seek advice from an employment lawyer who can evaluate your case and explain your options. An experienced employment law firm can help you understand your rights as an employee and make sure that you receive the severance to which you are entitled. Your lawyer can negotiate with your former employer on your behalf, and even represent you in court should that become necessary.

The Employment Law Firm of Sawers McFarlane: Protecting Your Future

With over 35 years of combined experience in the legal field, the lawyers at Sawers McFarlane are committed to helping every client with their unique employment challenges. They can provide advice about any labour or employment problem, and can represent employees in negotiations, hearings, and litigation if necessary. No matter how complex the case, Sawers McFarlane is there to make sure that your rights are protected and your best interests are served. They have served thousands of clients in the Calgary area and across Western Canada, and have earned a reputation as professional, tenacious, and efficient legal advocates. Sawers McFarlane is located at #920 250 5th St SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0R4 or they may be reached by calling (866) 790-3221.