Employment Law

‘Alberta is Calling’: What to consider before changing jobs


Alberta has launched a multimillon-dollar marketing campaign to attract skilled workers from Ontario and British Columbia to the province.

During a news conference on August 15, 2022, Premier Jason Kenney announced the “Alberta is Calling” program. The $2.6-million effort includes advertisements on social media, radio, as well as posters in high-traffic areas.

“Alberta is back in a big way, but one of the biggest challenges to sustaining that amazing growth is having enough people who are filling the jobs that are being created,” Kenney said.

The recruitment campaign comes as a growing number of younger Albertans are leaving the province. The Canada West Foundation’s Work to Live report in March found that Alberta had nine per cent fewer 25 to 29-year-olds in 2021 compared to 2016.

If you are thinking about taking the Alberta government up on their offer, there are a few things to keep in mind before changing jobs.

Review your new employment contract carefully

Employment contracts often take away key protections that would otherwise be available to you. Your employer might attempt to limit your severance package to a few weeks’ pay, or add a clause that gives them the ability to cut your pay or put you on a layoff without penalty in the future.

Before signing a new employment contract, give yourself time to carefully review it. If you are not sure about what you are accepting, you can seek legal counsel.

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Severance pay considerations

Before changing jobs, you should always consider future severance possibilities. While severance can be up to 24 months’ pay, compensation is calculated using a number of factors, including:

  • Age
  • Position
  • Length of service
  • Ability to find new work

If you quit your current job, you may not be owed severance

If you resign from your position voluntarily to take up employment elsewhere, you typically do not get a severance package. This is because severance is designed to provide you with financial support while you look for new work after being fired without cause or let go.

However, if you are forced to leave because of unwanted changes to your job, you could file a claim for constructive dismissal, which would allow you to quit your job and still receive full severance pay.

Do I get severance if I quit?

The longer you work for a company, the more severance you’re owed

It’s important to remember that your length of service with your current employer affects how much severance pay you are owed if you are fired without cause or let go.

Example: If you worked at a company for more than 20 years and decide to take a new job you sought out on your own, you forfeit the severance entitlements that you built up with your current employer. As a result, if you are fired without cause or let go shortly after joining the new business, you could receive very little compensation.

Recruited by another company?

The situation changes if you leave your current job after being actively recruited by another company. If your new employer took documented steps to entice you to take up employment with them, they will inherit your years of service with your previous employer. This is called inducement.

Example: You worked 15 years for Company A. You are recruited by Company B to work for their business at higher pay. If you are fired or let go by Company B two years after they hired you, your severance package should be based on a total of 17 years of seniority.

Your new employment contract with the company pulling you away from your current employer should reference your previous years of service. An employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP can ensure that your agreement contains the correct clause to guard your seniority.

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• Severance Pay in Alberta
Severance Packages in Ontario
Severance Pay in B.C.

Looking to change jobs? Speak to an employment lawyer

Before signing a new employment contract, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review the agreement to make sure your workplace rights are protected.

Our team can help you better understand the terms of the contract and advise you on how best to navigate the situation.

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