What is Termination Notice?

Employers must comply with employment standards, including those pertaining to firing an employee. Understanding legal requirements will help to avoid a legal challenge when the need to terminate arises.

Is Termination Notice Required?

Both employees and employers must provide notice of their intention to end the employment relationship. However, the notice requirements do not apply in certain situations. For example, employers are not required to provide notice for seasonal or task specific employment; in addition, no notice is required from either party when the employment period is 90 days or less.

Alberta’s Employment Standards Code (ESC) sets out the rules regarding termination notice, as well as when employees and employers are exempt from providing termination notice.

How Much Notice Must Be Provided?

Under the ESC, the length of the notice period is dependent on the length of the employee’s service with the employer, as set out below:


The amount of notice required from employees is determined by the duration of their employment. If the employment period lasts:

  • longer than 90 days but less than two years: one week of notice is required;
  • two years or longer: two weeks of notice is required.


The amount of notice employers must provide when terminating without cause also depends on the employee’s length of service, as follows:

  • longer than 90 days but less than two years: 1 week of notice
  • 2 years but less than 4 years: 2 weeks of notice
  • 4 years but less than 6 years: 4 weeks of notice
  • 6 years but less than 8 years: 5 weeks of notice
  • 8 years but less than 10 years: 6 weeks of notice
  • 10 years or more: 8 weeks of notice

By providing the appropriate notice period, employers generally have the right to terminate an employee without cause at any time, provided that the termination does not violate Alberta’s human rights legislation or any other legislation.

It is important to note that there are also rules pertaining to termination pay. When proper termination notice is provided, the employee’s earnings must be paid within three days of their last day of employment. If the employee fails to provide adequate notice before ending their employment, the employer is required to pay the employee’s termination pay within 10 days after the date on which the notice would have expired.

Still Unsure of How to Handle Termination Notice?

We are happy to answer your questions about termination notice or any other employment-related matters you may be inquiring about. Employerline offers a complimentary advice line with HR experts. Call now for a free consultation!