Employment Law

Recochem buys KIK’s Auto Care business: Employee rights

What’s happening at Recochem?

Recochem, a Canadian automotive liquid manufacturer, has announced the acquisition of KIK Consumer Products’ Auto Care business. KIK, a prominent North American manufacturer of pool, household, and auto care consumer products, will now transfer its Auto Care division to Recochem.

KIK’s Auto Care business includes the brands Prestone in North America and Holts in the UK. These brands are known for developing, manufacturing, and marketing antifreeze/coolant and other essential automotive fluids, as well as car appearance products, in North America and other international markets.

This strategic acquisition, announced on June 18, will combine Recochem (Canada), Prestone (US), and Holts (UK) into a global automotive solutions group.


“We are very excited about the opportunity to create a world-class, consumer-centric automotive group that can deliver the very best solutions for our customers,” said Shawn Davies, CEO of Recochem.

For KIK, this sale allows the company to focus on its Household Care and Pool Care businesses, which are poised for exceptional growth.

“After the completion of the sale, KIK will continue as a highly focused and aligned consumer products company with our Household Care and Pool Care businesses,” said Michael Sload, CEO of KIK.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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As Recochem completes the acquisition, here are a few things that non-unionized employees need to be aware of.

Who pays severance if Recochem doesn’t keep certain KIK employees?

If Recochem’s acquisition of KIK results in you losing your job, then KIK must provide you with full severance pay.

In Canada, the “seller” of the business is responsible for providing proper compensation to staff who lose their job.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains the rights workers have when their employer sells the business on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

If Recochem provides you with an employment offer, and you have a good reason for why you don’t want to accept it (i.e. different hours or pay), you might be able to get full severance pay from KIK.

Even without a good reason you can still get severance, but it’s very likely that you will only receive your minimum entitlements.

Rights to severance in Alberta when your employer sells the business
Employer sold the business in B.C.? Know your rights to severance
Sale of business in Ontario: Rights to severance

How is severance pay calculated?

Severance for non-unionized employees in Canada can be as much as 24 months’ pay. This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Alberta, B.C., and Ontario.

The amount of compensation you are entitled to is calculated using several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Length of service
  • Position at the company
  • Ability to find new work

To figure out how much you could be owed, use our firm’s free Severance Pay Calculator. It has helped millions of Canadians determine their severance entitlements.

If your company doesn’t provide you with the correct amount, you have been wrongfully dismissed and should seek legal counsel immediately.

We regularly resolve wrongful dismissal claims and can help you secure proper severance.

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Can Recochem make major changes to the jobs of KIK employees?

In Canada, non-unionized employees at KIK don’t have to accept substantial changes to their job that Recochem might try to enforce.

Major modifications, such as a demotion, longer shifts, or reduced pay, are illegal.

When significant adjustments are made to the terms of your employment without your consent, there is a very good chance that you can treat it as a constructive dismissal.

In this situation, the law allows you to quit your job and pursue full severance pay.

If you believe that you have been constructively dismissed, don’t resign before contacting our firm.

Job changes in Alberta: What employees need to know
Changes to your employment in B.C.: Your rights
Can my employer make changes to my job in Ontario?

New employment contracts for KIK staff

If you work for KIK, and you receive a new employment contract from Recochem, take the time to carefully review it before signing it.

In many cases, these agreements take away key protections that would otherwise be available to non-unionized employees, including:

  • Eliminating past service: The new owner might attempt to reduce or eliminate your years of service with your previous employer. Don’t sacrifice your seniority. Length of service is a key factor when determining how much severance pay you are entitled to.
  • Reducing severance pay: Some employers try to use a termination clause to reduce your severance entitlements to the bare minimum. Instead of months of pay, you might only receive a few weeks’ pay if you are fired without cause or let go.
  • Ability to make changes: The new owner might attempt to add a clause that gives them the right to change aspects of your job (i.e. hours or pay) without your permission or lay you off without penalty.

Employers in Canada can’t legally force non-unionized workers to sign a new employment contract immediately or a few days after receiving it.

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Received a job offer? Speak with an employment lawyer

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

Our lawyers in Alberta, B.C., and Ontario have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

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

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