Ending the Employment Relationship

Giving Notice

Once an employee has been employed for three months, both the employee and the employer have to give notice before ending the employment relationship. The amount of notice - ranging from one week to sixteen weeks - depends on the length of time the employee has been with the employer or how many employees are being let go. Special rules may apply for employees who have been employed ten years or more.

  • may not change the employee's rate of pay or any other condition of employment, such as benefits
  • may not require the employee to use remaining vacation during the notice period, unless the employee agrees
  • must pay the employee all the wages he or she is entitled to receive at the end of the notice period

When the Employer Ends the Employment

Under the Labour Standards Code, employers must provide written notice that an employee is fired or suspended or laid off. This is called giving notice. Notice is the letter telling the employee that he will no longer work for the employer after a given date. It is also the time between when the employee receives the letter and the date the letter says is the employee's last day of work.

How much notice an employer must give depends upon how long the employee was employed and the circumstances under which the person is being let go. This information can be found at https://novascotia.ca/lae/employmentrights/employernowork.asp.

When the Employee Ends the Employment

How much notice a worker must give depends on how long the worker has worked for the same employer.

  • one week's written notice if the worker has worked between three months and two years
  • two weeks' written notice if the worker has worked more than two years

Just as an employer sometimes does not always have to give notice that an employee's employment is ending, there are also times when employees do not have to give notice. These are:

  • when the employee has been employed less than three months
  • when the employer breaks the terms and conditions of employment. This may mean, for example, that the employer has failed to pay the employee's wages
  • when the worker works in the construction industry

Click here for more information about when an Employee Ends the Employment.

Record of Employment

Employers are required to provide the employee with a Record of Employment (separation papers) after the employment relationship ends. Please go to Personnel Records for information on completing the Record of Employment