Am I entitled to severance if my hours are reduced?

Nine To Five: Special to The Globe and Mail, Published October 22, 2017


I have worked as a technician for a medical company for more than 25 years. Over the past three years, my hours have been steadily reduced and I now get maybe 10 hours every couple of weeks. When I ask, they say the work will pick up soon. My total years worked have been a mix of full- and part-time periods. I am frustrated because, had they laid me off while I was full time I could have applied for employment insurance benefits. Am I entitled to severance?


Waiting for the other shoe to drop is common behaviour when workplace practices change over time.

Each party waits for the other to make the next move. The cutbacks in your hours occurred gradually and you accepted them, now the hours are few and you are highly underemployed.

If you need to work, waiting for them to dismiss you altogether is holding you back from career satisfaction and moving forward with your life.

Apply to other companies for 25- to 30-hours/week positions and you could gradually ease this company out of your life, albeit without a severance. Or you can get another full-time job and quit.

With such long service it is very unfortunate to have to leave under such duress, but it is important to take care of yourself at this point and move forward psychologically and physically.

The writing has been on the wall for three years. Now, it is your move.