Are your employment contracts enforceable? (Legal view)

When it comes to notice on termination, looking ahead crucial to enforcement
By Nikolay Chsherbinin
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/08/2009

Most written employment contracts include a provision that limits the compensation to which an employee is entitled in the event of termination. If an employment contract provides for a period of notice that, at the time of dismissal, would be less than the employment standards minimum, is the termination provision void from the outset or does it become void when the statutory requirement first exceeds the contractual term?

Courts have ruled a contractual term with a specified notice period that may be consistent with minimum employment standards at the time of the employee’s dismissal, but could “potentially” violate those standards, is void from the beginning and a reasonable notice period is to be calculated using common law principles.

Notice provisions failing to account for the future are unenforceable