Voluntary exit program

Employer not required to declare a position surplus to permit an employee to participate in program
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Boeing Toronto Ltd. wanted to reduce its workforce. To accomplish this, it entered into a voluntary exit program in 1998 with the union representing its employees, namely the National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada (CAW-CLC), Local 673.

The program provided that eligible employees would be paid the equivalent of severance pay under the Employment Standards Act, that is one week’s pay per year of service to a maximum of 26 weeks. In order to be eligible there had to be a declaration of surplus in the employee’s job classification and the employee had to file an application and acceptance for the voluntary exit program.

A second agreement was signed in September 2000 which permitted senior employees in an affected classification to elect the voluntary exit program in order to avoid the layoff of more junior employees.