Last chance agreements can be a last resort for employers

By Lorna Harris
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/21/2003

An employee is chronically late, gets into fights with other employees, is rude to customers or clients, or perhaps steals from his employer. What is more, there is little understanding of, or remorse, shown for these improprieties.

How can an employer deal with the continued misbehaviour of a long-standing employee especially one covered by a collective agreement without having to go through costly and time-consuming arbitration?

The solution is often a Last Chance Agreement (LCA). These agreements are used in cases of long-term employees who have been warned time and again about unacceptable work habits and are on the verge of termination. To avoid costs of what could be a lengthy arbitration hearing, both the employer and union often agree to initiate an LCA, which will stipulate that the employee remain employed as long as the employee agrees to certain clearly defined standards of behaviour.