In recent years, many companies have experienced a shortage of skilled manpower. This situation often results in the need to intensify recruitment and the retention of job placement agencies or head-hunters in order to find the best candidates. However, employers must be aware that this method of recruiting candidates can have consequences on the length of notice that must be provided in the event of a termination of employment without a serious reason.
Article 2091 of the Civil Code of Québec (the "C.C.Q.") entitles either party to terminate a contract of employment of indeterminate term without a serious reason, subject to the obligation to provide reasonable notice of termination or an indemnity in lieu thereof.
Pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 2091 C.C.Q., the notice of termination must be reasonable and must take into account, in particular, the nature of the employment, the special circumstances in which it is carried out and the duration of employment. In addition to these factors, other criteria recognized by case law must be considered, such as the intention of the parties at the time of hiring, the adverse conditions of the labour market, the employer's good faith, the employee's age, education, training, difficulty in finding comparable employment, his or her family responsibilities, medical condition as well as other special circumstances such as the fact that the employee was solicited away from a stable employment to join the company.