When Working Notice Is Not Notice At All

Court of Appeal - Scales of Justice

As is commonly known, notice of termination can be provided by an employer to an employee in a few different forms. One such form is working notice. However, as the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s recent decision in Thambapillai v. Labrash Security Services Ltd. demonstrates, there are certain elements necessary to validate working notice, and if absent, will render such period of time obsolete.


The Employee was employed by the Employer as a Security Guard for approximately 12 years. In November of 2014, the Employer informed the Employee that his employment would come to an end in either January or February 2015. Despite such notice of termination, the Employee continued working for the Employer until July of 2015 when his employment was ended without any further notice or any statutory payments.

As a result of his termination, the Employee initiated a claim against the Employer seeking, among other things, his common law notice entitlements.


After reviewing the evidence, the Court determined that the notice of termination provided to the Employee in November of 2014 was not adequate to qualify as working notice. Specifically, the Court stated that the notice of termination was insufficient because it did not provide the Employee with a certain date of termination, and because the Employee continued to work past the 13 week regulatory period provided for in the Employment Standards Act, 2000. As a result, the Court found that the Employee was entitled to his statutory and common law notice entitlements.

Lessons for Employers

While working notice is generally only implemented by employers in specific situations, employers must be cognizant of the legal requirements necessary to validate any working notice provided. Accordingly, it is prudent to seek the assistance of an Employment Lawyer to assist in the working notice process.

Lessons for Employees

The above decision demonstrates the usefulness in having termination packages reviewed by an Employment Lawyer. Even in situations where an employer provides working notice, depending on the facts, an employee may still be entitled to more notice than what is initially provided.

Minken Employment Lawyers is your source for expert advice and advocacy on today’s employment law issues. Whether you are an employer or an employee, we can help. Contact us to see how.

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