Is it fair for severance to depend on my next job search?

The Globe & Mail: Nine to Five | May 1, 2017

THE QUESTION

My position has been eliminated by the federal government. HR offered eight-weeks’ notice and two and half weeks for every year of service (58 weeks). I have been employed for 20 years and am 57. What are statutory entitlements versus common law?

I am concerned because my employer placed a clause in the release stating that if they feel I am not making “reasonable efforts to find another job” they can cease to pay me at any time during the 58 weeks.

THE ANSWER

Check with a lawyer as to your entitlement. There is a formula to determine severance payout.

But you need to forget the scare tactics and get to work looking for a new job. If you have outplacement services, get started with them. Check out your local Employment Ontario centre and attend workshops and get registered with a counsellor once your eight weeks are up.

Read articles and books on job search.

Put a binder together or organize a file online of all the jobs you apply to. Document everything. Put in a sample of the cover letter you submitted and any personal communication you had with anyone from that company. Have a professional résumé writer write your résumé – it has to be outstanding to get noticed.

Colleen Clarke
Principal, http://www.yourresumepro.com, Toronto

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