Many employers have been updating, renewing or altering employment agreements to respond to the changes that COVID has brought to the workplace, and many of them are risking serious financial consequences from constructive dismissal claims because they are not “following the rules”.
There are two very important factors to keep in mind when changing a contract – you must give “reasonable notice” of the change, or there must be some new form of “consideration” (pay raise, signing bonus, extra vacation, etc.) in order to avoid a wrongful/constructive dismissal lawsuit.
You must provide “reasonable notice” because you are literally terminating their existing agreement and asking them to sign a new one. The notice period depends on many factors but must be at least the Employment Standards minimum.
If you choose not to provide “reasonable notice” then you must provide a new benefit (“consideration”). For example, the person has been promoted to a new role (new wage/benefits) or agrees to a signing bonus.
Beware of the Constructive Dismissal Pitfall! Call me today for help with your HR issues.