When an employee has been fired (dismissed) without cause, the employer is required to provide reasonable notice or payment in place of that reasonable notice. All that needs to be reasonable is the actual length of the notice.
The Employment Standards Act only provides minimum notice periods (usually one week for every year of service up to a maximum of 8 weeks). However, an employee fired without cause is usually entitled to a notice period well beyond this minimum. In many cases, employees are owed as much as 12-24 months of pay.
This is important because an employer is required to ‘make the employee whole’ during the entire period of reasonable notice, so the compensation increases with the length of the notice period.
When determining the reasonable notice period, a number of factors are considered, including length of employment; relevant education, training and experience; job responsibilities; availability of equivalent alternative employment; the employee’s age; and if there was inducement to leave another job.