In the province of Québec, the concept of
"redundancy" shall be understood as terminations of
employment or layoffs (individual or collective), all as stated in
and within the meaning of section 82 and following of the Act
Respecting Labour Standards (the ALS).1
That being said, employers have no formal and legal obligations
with regards to collective consultations on redundancy.
Indeed, and in non-unionized workplaces, employers are under no
obligation with regards to employment termination or layoff
preliminary procedure or consultation other than to give the
individual or collective notice pursuant to the ALS (the
distinction between the individual and collective notice is set out
hereafter). In unionized establishments, we shall refer to the
relevant provisions of the collective agreement and make sure the
obligations stated thereto are met and are minimally equivalent to
the ALS provisions (i.e. layoff or technological change
However, whenever 10 or more employees of the same establishment
are terminated within a period of 2 months – or are laid off
for a period of at least 6 months – a notice of collective
dismissal shall be given to the Minister of Employment and Social
Solidarity (the Minister).2 The
employer must also transmit a copy of said notice to the Commission
des normes du travail and to the certified association representing
the affected employees. Finally, the notice must be posted in a
conspicuous and readily accessible place in the concerned
These obligations are in addition to the individual written
notice employers must give to employees before terminating
them.3 It is worth noting that where an employer chooses
to pay an indemnity in lieu of notice, the indemnities for both
individual and collective dismissal notice can not be cumulated.
The affected employee will be entitled to receive the greater of
the two indemnities.
Finally, although there are no obligations to hold collective
consultations on "redundancy" in Québec, it should
be noted that where 50 or more employees are affected by a
collective dismissal and upon request of the Minister, the employer
and the certified association4 must participate in the
establishment of a reclassification assistance committee. They
shall collaborate in carrying out the committee's mission,
which consists in facilitating the affected employees'
maintenance or re-entry on the labour market. The employer shall
also, upon request, provide with financial contributions to the
operating costs of the reclassification assistance committee and to
the reclassification activities.
 CQLR c N-1.1. Please note that the ALS only applies
to provincial regulated employer.
 Please note that the notice shall be given within a
minimum period which varies between 8 to 16 weeks depending on the
number of employees affected by the collective
 or laying them off for six months or
 or representatives chosen by the affected employees
in non-unionized workplaces.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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