What are my entitlements if I get terminated?
Many employers include a probationary period in the employment contracts they offer to prospective employees. Generally, the probationary period is 3 months, but there is no limit to the maximum length a probationary period may be.
The purpose of a probationary period is to give the employer a certain period of time to determine whether they intend to keep the newly hired employee. The value that including a probationary period provides is that an employer is entitled to terminate the employee without providing reasonable notice, if certain conditions are met.
In its employment contract, an employer is free to establish any period of probation that it desires. However, there are limitations as to how long an employer can establish a probationary period that entitles them to terminate the employee without payment of any notice.
The Employment Standards Act, 2000, states that no notice or pay in lieu is owed to an employee who has only been employed for between 1 and 90 days. After 3 months however, the Act mandates one week of notice for up to each year of service. This means that terminating an employee of more than 90 days, but less than 366 days, requires the payment of 1 week of notice.