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Leaving Your Job


Employees can quit a job at any time. It is common practice to give your employer notice that you are quitting. In most workplaces, two week’s notice is an acceptable standard.

If you can, giving notice is a good idea if you want your employer to give a good reference for you when you apply for another job. You can find out more about the laws about working in BC by looking at a Guide to the Employment Standards Act.

Losing Your Job - Termination

If you work for an employer for three months or less, he or she can let you go without giving you notice or extra pay. If you work more than three months, the employer must tell you in writing several weeks before your job ends or must pay you extra money called compensation. The amount of notice or compensation depends on how long you worked for the employer.

Sometimes an employer does not have enough work for the employees or does not have money to pay the bills. The employer might lay off the employees for a few weeks. A layoff is temporary. The employer doesn’t have to tell you ahead of time. If the layoff lasts longer than 13 weeks in a 20-week period, it means your employment has ended.

If the layoff is permanent and your employment has ended, the employer must give you compensation. However, an employee can lose his or her job (be terminated) without notice or compensation for serious bad behaviour, such as stealing tools from work or hitting another worker.

To learn more about your rights when being terminated see the Termination of Employment Factsheet.

Applying for Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) is a federal government insurance program that all workers and employers pay into. It is meant to help workers when they lose their job, or need time off because they are sick or have a new baby to take care of.

You may be able to get EI money (called benefits) if you lose your job. You have to work a certain number of weeks before you can apply for benefits. Apply for EI online or at a Service Canada Centre.

You should apply as soon as you lose your job. Don’t wait or it may become difficult to get EI benefits. When you apply for EI benefits, you need to have a Record of Employment from your last job and your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If you lose your job because you quit or got fired it will be difficult to get EI benefits.

Last reviewed date: 2021/ Apr