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Old 04.10.2014, 12:48
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Dismissal - when is my notice period effective??

If there is another thread re this please let me know, I couldn't find one so posting my note below:

I was called into the office at the end of last month to be told by my boss that things were not working out and they suggested not to come into the office the following day to take some time for both of us to 'breathe' and rescheduled another meeting the following week to follow up, which fell on the first of the next month. In this follow up meeting, they said that the contract is being terminated effective last week as that is when I stopped coming into the office (which was at their request).

My boss did hint that the contract may be terminated in the first meeting, but never mentioned it outright. The follow up meeting was the first time the termination of the contract was mentioned. My questions is, when is the notice period legally effective? When I stopped coming into the office like they said? Or when they outright told me that the contract is being terminated? The answer to this question would of course be the difference between an additional month's payment.

Any help or guidance would be appreciated!

Thanks.
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Old 04.10.2014, 13:01
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Re: Dismissal - when is my notice period effective??

Not exactly a black-and-white situation.

Personally, since the explicit word "termination" was not used in the first meeting, I'd say the second meeting is what counts. Needless to say it's a ridiculous idea to tell an employee not to come in for one day to give time to breathe (what good does that do? ), only to then terminate the contract pretty much the following day.

Be prepared for them to interpret the situation differently and claim they terminated the contract in the first meeting already. In that case, it's up to you whether you want to invest time, energy and possibly money into fighting for that extra month's salary.

Also note that terminations do not need to be in written form - a verbal termination is just as valid. However, it is customary to issue a written letter, confirming the termination, and that would obviously now be issued with some date in October.

If you don't have a job lined up, don't forget to register with RAV right away, well before your notice period runs out.
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Old 04.10.2014, 13:04
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Re: Dismissal - when is my notice period effective??

If they didn't announce your contract was being terminated until the 1st of October, then your notice period starts at the end of October, not end of September.

Notice of termination need not always be written (although it typically is) but it has to be clearly delivered.
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Old 04.10.2014, 13:20
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Re: Dismissal - when is my notice period effective??

Thank you both! Do you know if there are any legal references to what you mentioned? I don't want them to just have to take my word for it. I don't think they will know the legal ins and outs as it is a small company so they will have to find it all out, but I'd like to respond with backup if possible!
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Old 04.10.2014, 15:36
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Re: Dismissal - when is my notice period effective??

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Thank you both! Do you know if there are any legal references to what you mentioned? I don't want them to just have to take my word for it. I don't think they will know the legal ins and outs as it is a small company so they will have to find it all out, but I'd like to respond with backup if possible!
Small company or no, I really don't see what's unclear. Employment cannot be terminated retroactively, otherwise the whole concept of a required notice period goes up in smoke. (Say someone has a two-month notice period - fine, the company could say, we are terminating your contract effective two months ago, now scram. Obviously that can't be how it works.)

Even in the few serious cases (embezzlement etc.) where a notice period is not required, the soonest an employment relationship can be terminated is in general "now", not "last week."

So if you were not told until October 1 that your contract was definitely being terminated (note that sending you home for the day does not in itself constitute notice of termination) then it cannot be terminated until sometime on or after October 1, plus the normal notice period. If the normal rules apply - and do check your contract to make sure you haven't agreed to something different - then the next possible date of termination is October 31 + whatever notice period you are entitled to.
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