Ambiguous termination clause doesn’t exclude common law notice

Stated notice ‘in accordance’ with legislation but didn’t limit it to minimum: Court
By Jeffrey Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/17/2016

A termination provision in an employment contract can allow for a notice entitlement in line with employment standards minimums, but the language must be clear in order to circumvent common law reasonable notice entitlements, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled.

Robert Bellini, 63, was a senior mechanical engineer at PROJEX Technologies, an engineering firm in Halifax. He joined PROJEX on April 12, 2012.

In July 2013, PROJEX was purchased by another company, Ausenco Engineering. Once Ausenco gained control, it gave Bellini a new employment contract with a termination clause. The clause stated “if it becomes necessary for us to terminate your employment for any reason other than cause, your entitlement to advance working notice or pay in lieu of such notice will be in accordance with the provincial employment standards legislation.”