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I've been fired from my job. When does my employer have to give me my wages and paperwork?

Question
I've been fired from my job. When does my employer have to give me my wages and paperwork?

Glossary

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Reviewed: 
September, 2015
Answer

If you're fired from your job, your employer has to:

Rules in Ontario's Employment Standards Act

Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA) has rules about what your employer has to do when they dismiss you from your job.

But not all jobs are covered by the ESA. And, in some cases, only parts of the ESA apply.

To find out if your job is covered by the ESA and which parts apply to you, see the step called Find out if you're covered by the Employment Standards Act.

If the ESA does not cover your situation, check What laws apply to me as a worker?

When wages must be paid

The ESA says that if your employer owes you any wages at the time you're fired, they have to pay you by the later of these two dates:

  • 7 days after your job ends
  • your next regular payday

What's included in wages

Your wages include vacation pay and any other money they owe you because you've been fired. For example, this includes termination pay.

It also includes severance pay but your employer can give you this in smaller payments or installments if:

  • you agree in writing, or
  • they apply to the Director of Employment Standards at the Ministry of Labour and the Director approves.

Your employer has to give you all your severance pay within 3 years. If they're paying in installments and miss a payment, they have to pay you the rest of the severance pay right away.

Record of Employment

Your employer also has to prepare a Record of Employment (ROE). This is a form that asks about things like how long you worked for your employer, how many hours you worked, and how much you earned.

The form includes a question about the employer's reason for completing the ROE. There are codes the employer must use to answer the question. If you were fired, they will likely choose "M" for "dismissal". If you apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, you'll be asked to explain why you were fired because this can affect whether you're eligible for EI benefits.

It's easier to apply for EI benefits if your employer has already prepared the ROE. This is because Service Canada uses your ROE to figure out:

  • whether you're eligible for EI benefits
  • the amount of benefits you'll get
  • how long you'll receive benefits

Your employer can either give you a paper copy of your ROE or send your ROE to the government electronically.

If they send it to the government electronically, they don't have to give you a copy and you don't need a copy to apply for EI. If you want a copy, you can get one from Service Canada.

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