Employment Law

Desjardins slashing 400 jobs amid challenging economic conditions

A photo of a person working at a desk covered in multiple items. (Photo: charlesdeluvio / Unsplash

As Scotiabank trims its headcount, Desjardins is also pulling out the axe.

According to news outlets, including CBC News, the financial services conglomerate is eliminating approximately 400 jobs due to the “current economic context.”

Desjardins said some of the cuts will come through natural attrition. Others are expected to be the result of re-evaluating the company’s needs (i.e. currently open positions).

While most of the layoffs will affect workers in Quebec, it remains unclear how many employees in other provinces will be impacted.

Desjardins employs a total workforce of approximately 58,000 people, according to CBC News.

Major layoffs continue

The latest reduction at Desjardins comes amid a flurry of layoffs in 2023.

Major North American companies, including National Bank, RBC, BMO, LinkedIn, Amazon, Twitch, and Google, have announced deep job cuts as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

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Termination agreements for Desjardins employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Desjardins are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Rights to severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance entitlements during mass layoffs
Rights to severance during a recession

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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