May 25th, 2017
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Six Answers you Need About Severance Today (Before you get Fired)

Companies fire employees every day.

Most people never expect to be fired.  Most people are not ready for the emotional and financial costs of a surprise dismissal.

Here are six answers employees should learn before being fired, to help minimize the impact of a surprise dismissal.

  1. How much severance will I get if I get fired?

This is not a simple question, and will depend on statute law, common law, and your employment contract.  For more information about determining severance, check out this post.

For the most accurate assessment, it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer.

  1. If I get fired, can I claim employment insurance (EI)?

You may be entitled to claim EI.  It will depend whether you worked enough qualifying hours before the dismissal, whether you were fired with or without cause, or whether you have received a severance from your company.

More information about employment insurance is available from the government of Canada at this site:  http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/ei/regular_benefit/index.page

  1. If I am entitled to EI, how much will I get?

Service Canada determines the amount of employment insurance for each application.  Generally, employment insurance is 55% of average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum of $537 per week.

Employment insurance may be available from 14 to 45 weeks, depending on the region.  For example, at this time the employment insurance period for Vancouver is 29 weeks.  However, this changes regularly, and employees should check with Service Canada for the most accurate assessment.

Here is some additional information about the amount of employment insurance benefits: http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/ei/regular_benefit/benefit_amount.page

  1. How long do I expect it to take to find a new job?

This is a hard question, and will depend on many factors such as your industry, your particular skills, and the amount of available comparable jobs.

It is a good idea to think about how long it would realistically take you to find a new job.  This way, you can prepare financially for a break from employment income.

  1. What are my minimum monthly expenses?

If you are dismissed, you lose your employment income and money becomes a stress.

Calculate your minimum monthly expenses per month.  This information can help you plan for a period of unemployment.

  1. How many months of minimum expenses will my severance/employment insurance cover?

Once you have determined the first 5 answers above, you can estimate how long you can survive without a job.

For example, assume the following:

  1. you expect it will take six months to find a new job; and
  2. you expect you will receive enough severance and/or employment insurance to cover ten months of minimum expenses.

In this example, you would be able to survive your unemployment period without going into debt.

As another example, assume the following:

  1. you expect it will take six months to find a new job; and
  2. you expect you will receive enough severance and/or employment insurance to cover four months of minimum expenses.

In this example, you would not be able to survive your unemployment period without going into debt.

Save for Unemployment

It might be that you think that your potential severance won’t cover you for your estimated unemployment period.

If this is the case, consider saving money slowly over time to cover your basic expenses for a potential unemployment period.

If you have any questions about employment law, contact the writer, Jonas McKay, or any of the HHBG Lawyers at 604.696.0556 to schedule an appointment.

Posted In: Employment Law
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