Human Resources

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Human Resources

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Both the University and the employee have the right to sever an employment relationship. Various forms of termination include: voluntary resignation, dismissal, termination resulting from a redundancy or layoff, and death.


In any termination situation, all keys, identification card, and other University property must be returned to the employee's department on the final working day.

Voluntary Terminations

Resignation from University

An employee who decides to resign must notify the department head or designate of this intention in writing as early as possible. The following serve as minimum guidelines for the amount of notice required by the University:

employees in positions grades 1 to 4 -- 2 weeks notice

employees in positions grades 5 to 10 -- 4 weeks notice

employees in positions grades 11 and above -- 8 weeks notice

The letter of resignation must specify the effective date for the resignation. Resignations, once submitted and accepted, are binding on the employee and the University and cannot be changed except by mutual agreement.

In keeping with the Federal Contractor's Programme, it is highly desirable for the department head/director or supervisor to contact the Human Resources Department to arrange a time for the employee to attend an exit interview.

Resignation for Internal Transfer

When an employee accepts an Offer of Employment and will be transferring within the University, his/her supervisor should be informed immediately so that a mutually agreeable starting date in the new position can be established. The employee should also provide the supervisor with a written notice regarding the transfer. The appointment to the new position will be arranged in accordance with appropriate employment procedures outlined in other sections of this manual.

Resignation During Christmas Break

Because the University is normally closed between Christmas and New Year's, any person who has voluntarily resigned, will be leaving Queen's during the Christmas break, and who has one or more years of service as of the last working day in the year will be paid for the full month up to December 31st.

Involuntary Terminations

Termination of Probationary Employees

If, after consultation with the Human Resources Department, it is determined that an employee will be terminated during the probationary period, the employee will be given appropriate notice by the University in accordance with Employment Standards legislation. A more detailed explanation of the probationary period can be found under "Probationary Period."


In cases where an employee's poor work performance shows no substantial improvement, despite attempts by the employer to resolve the problem with the employee, or in cases where an employee's actions irrevocably have frustrated the relationship of the employee with the employer (e.g., theft, fraud, gross insubordination), the employer may consider the dismissal of that employee. The Human Resources Department must be consulted in all cases of discipline or potential dismissal. Human Resources will advise the department of the best way to handle the particular situation, including documentation requirements and advice on notice/severance requirements.

During these notice periods, all benefits must be maintained. However, the employee will be contacted by the Human Resources Department, Compensation Unit to make arrangements for terminating these benefits at the conclusion of the notice period.

In such circumstance, an employee who has worked at the university for five or more years may be entitled to severance pay, in addition to the above-noted notice. Basically, severance pay is calculated as one week's pay per year of employment to a maximum of twenty-six week's pay. The Human Resources Department will determine if severance pay is applicable, and if so calculate this pay, and will notify the department. The department is then responsible for ensuring payment.

Employees who have been dismissed from the University shall not be eligible for re-employment by Queen's in any capacity.

Termination Because of Job Redundancy or Layoff

For specific details regarding notice and severance provisions in the case of a job redundancy or layoff (including temporary layoff), please refer to the Redeployment policy in this manual. Note that internal status may be maintained by the employee for a period of 6 months after the completion of the notice period. If alternate employment cannot be found, the notice of termination will be forwarded to Human Resources, Compensation Unit where provisions will be made for any unused vacation and termination of benefits.

Contract or Term Non-Renewal and Early Termination

The principal investigator or supervisor may not intend to renew employment beyond the end of the contract or term appointment and must give written notice of termination to the employee. In addition, in accordance with the agreement signed by the employee and principal investigator or supervisor, the contract or term appointment may be terminated prior to the original end date (arranged in consultation with Human Resources) with appropriate written notice or without notice in the event of cause for dismissal. This written notice is a separate document from the Offer of Employment.

Principal investigators are encouraged to conduct regular performance reviews and provide support to enable research grant and contract employees to adequately perform their responsibilities. This should reduce the likelihood that contracts will not be renewed or will be terminated early due to performance related issues.

The notice period depends on the entire length of continuous employment of the employee at Queen's University, as specified in the Employment Standards Act (less than one year = 1 week, 1 < 3 years = 2 weeks, 3+ years = one week of notice for each year of service to a maximum of eight weeks). If the entire length of continuous service is at least five years, the employee will also be entitled to severance pay, as specified in the Employment Standards Act. (generally, one weeks pay for each year of service to a maximum of 26 weeks). Other payments may also be owing to the employee (e.g., in lieu of unused vacation) in accordance with this policy manual. Employees who are entitled to receive severance payments are encouraged to contact Human Resources Development Canada (EI) to discuss the implications of the severance payment on their entitlement to employment insurance.

The principal investigator or supervisor should contact Human Resources to determine the appropriate notice and severance payments. If the principal investigator/supervisor does not provide the employee with appropriate notice in writing, the employee is entitled to pay in lieu of notice, which is entirely the responsibility of the principal investigator. In the case of an employee with a term appointment, the department is responsible for the entire severance payment. As described under 'Central Fund' in the Recruitment and Selection policy, the principal investigator is responsible for paying the first two weeks of the severance payment for employees with contract appointments, with the Central Fund paying the remainder.

Depending upon the length of service with Queen's (at least 12 months of continuous employment), employees with contract or term appointments may be assisted by the Human Resources Department in finding alternate employment within the University as outlined in the redeployment process, provided the term or contract is interrupted and does not proceed to its natural end date.

Exit Procedures

As soon as it is determined that an employee will be terminating his/her employment at Queen's, the department should notify Human Resources, Compensation Unit. This can be done by completing a Notice of Termination Form, which includes indicating if any unused vacation pay is owed. The department should also indicate if other outstanding payments are owed (e.g., overtime). The Human Resources Department should also be notified in case any severance payments are required, as described above. The employee should contact Human Resources, Compensation Unit to make arrangements for terminating any applicable benefits.

Death of an Employee

If a member of the general staff dies while employed at the University, the Pension and Insurance Unit in Human Resources should be notified immediately. The University arranges to pay the deceased's estate a lump sum equivalent to two months of salary, or, any outstanding vacation and/or other banked time, whichever is greater. A member of the Pension and Insurance Unit works with the next of kin, executor or legal counsel to assist in settling estate matters related to Queen's Benefit Plans such as the Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Supplementary Medical Insurance, etc.