Managing the Great Resignation: Tips for Employers Reopening Workplaces

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered views of work and career. Employees are seeking greater flexibility and autonomy in how and when they work.

A recent global survey conducted by Ernst & Young found that more than half of employees surveyed would quit their jobs if they were not provided some form of flexibility in their working conditions post-pandemic.

Employers who require employees to return to work in-person should expect some resistance from their workforce. A lack of flexibility may result in increased absenteeism, as well as employee resignations. Either will have varying degrees of impact on the business. Below are some tips for managing employee resignations, as employers prepare to return their employees to work in person.

  • If an employee chooses to resign, they must provide adequate notice of their resignation.
  • The length of notice to be provided depends on the terms of the employee’s contract, provincial employment standards legislation and common law obligations.
  • Provincial legislation sets out the minimum amount of notice that an employee must provide to their employer, usually two weeks.
  • Employees may be obligated to provide greater notice by the terms of their employment agreement or at common law.
  • The amount of notice a resigning employee must provide at common law depends on a variety of factors, including: the responsibilities of the employee, their length of service, salary, as well as the time it may take the employer to find a replacement.

An employer who does not receive sufficient notice of resignation may make a claim against the employee for damages arising from the resignation.

Our labour and employment team helps employers navigate employee resignations and wrongful resignation claims. Please contact a member of our labour and employment team to discuss your particular circumstances.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.