Termination Pay Calculator

  • Content last reviewed: July 2010
Termination Pay Calculator Termination Tool Termination Pay Calculator

An employer can provide termination pay instead of termination notice. The employer can also provide a combination of both, so long as the total amount received is equal to the total amount the employee would have received had full notice been given. In either case, the employer is also responsible for continuing to make any benefit contributions that would be required to maintain an employee’s benefits during the notice period or, where notice or full notice is not given, a period equal to the notice period. The amount of time the employer has to maintain these contributions depends on the amount of notice the employee would have received had he or she been given notice. For example, if an employee is entitled to eight weeks of notice and his or her employment is terminated immediately; the employer would need to make whatever contributions were required in order to maintain the benefits for eight weeks after the employment ended.

The steps below will help determine the amount of termination pay that is owed to an employee.

Termination Pay Calculator

Note: This calculator is only for ESA notice and does not calculate any greater notice an employee may be entitled under the common law. The number of weeks entered must correspond to the notice requirements under section 57 or 58 of the ESA. If you are not familiar with those requirements, see the entitlement part of this tool.
Not sure?


If you are not familiar with how to determine the employee’s period of employment, are not familiar with the mass termination rules or need to confirm termination pay or notice is applicable you should refer to the Entitlement part of this tool.

Statutory Notice Period
Period of Employment Notice Required
(section 57 of the ESA).
Less than 1 Year 1 week
1 year but less than 3 years 2 weeks
3 years but less than 4 years 3 weeks
4 years but less than 5 years 4 weeks
5 years but less than 6 years 5 weeks
6 years but less than 7 years 6 weeks
7 years but less than 8 years 7 weeks
8 years or more 8 weeks

Mass Termination Notice

For terminations occurring as a result of a mass termination, follow this chart:
Number of Employees Whose
Employment is Being Terminated
Notice Required (Section 58 of the ESA and O. Reg. 288 s. 3)
50 to 199 employees 8 weeks
200 to 499 employees 12 weeks
500 or more employees 16 weeks

Not sure?


Regular Wages

ss. 1(1) of the ESA defines regular wages as wages other than overtime pay, vacation pay, public holiday pay, premium pay, termination pay and severance pay and certain contractual entitlements. For information on what those contractual entitlements are see ss. 5(2) of the ESA.

Regular Work Week

A regular work week for an employee who usually works the same number of hours every week is a week of that many hours, not including overtime hours.

Some employees do not work the same number of hours every week or they are paid on a basis other than time (commissions, commission plus base wage, piecework, etc.)

For them, the "regular wages" for a "regular work week are:

  • the average amount of the regular wages earned by the employee in the weeks in which the employee worked in the 12 weeks immediately before the date of termination.
  • or if notice was provided, 12 weeks before the date notice was given. Where an employee has been terminated as a result of a lay-off exceeding the length of a temporary lay-off, the calculation is based on the 12 weeks immediately before the first day of lay-off (which is deemed to be the termination date).

To calculate the average amount of wages earned in the 12 weeks before either the date notice was given or the date of termination, it is important to note that you are looking at blocks of 12 weeks. It is program policy that if in the 12 weeks prior there were no wages earned, you would move to the next preceding block of 12 weeks, and so on, until you found a block of 12 weeks where there were wages earned.

Need an example?


Aliya's employment was terminated on May 1, 2009, after returning from an educational leave of 12 weeks. She was paid by piecework and did not earn the same amount of wages in each week. Because Aliya was on an educational leave in the 12 weeks before termination, she did not work any of the 12 weeks and therefore had earned no wages during that time.

0-12 weeks before termination – no weeks worked
12-24 weeks before termination – seven weeks worked

In the 12-24 week period before termination, Aliya worked for seven weeks and earned $5000. To calculate Aliya’s regular wages for a regular work week you divide $5000 by the seven weeks worked.

$5000 / 7

Regular wage per week = $714.29

Generally, the minimum percentage of vacation pay that must be provided on termination pay under the ESA is 4%. However, some types of employees are exempt from receiving vacation pay. Consult the Special Rule Tool to see who they are and if an exemption applies, enter zero percent.

If the employment contract provides that vacation pay is calculated at a higher percentage, enter that percentage instead.

If the amount of termination pay provided is more than required under ESA, the ministry does not consider the employer to be obliged, under the ESA, to pay vacation pay on the entire amount, only on the statutory portion of it. However, common law may provide otherwise.

Enter additional information here if the employee worked during the statutory notice period. Note: If you are entering information in D and E you should not have information in F and G.


Not sure?

Wage rate is the basis on which the employee is paid (e.g., so much per hour, commissions, base plus commissions, piecework)

Wages are defined by section 1 of the ESA to mean:

  • monetary amounts that are to be paid by the employer to the employee under the terms of a contract (oral or written, express or implied)
  • any payments an employer is required to make under this Act
  • allowances for room or board under an employment contract

Wages do not include:

  • tips and other gratuities,
  • gifts or bonuses that are dependent on the discretion of the employer and are not related to hours, production or efficiency,
  • expenses and travelling allowances, or
  • employer contributions to a benefit plan and payments to which an employee is entitled from a benefit plan

Enter additional information here if the employee received less notice than required under the ESA and worked during the reduced notice period. If you have entered information in D and E you should not be entering information in F and G.


A qualified employee is entitled to a minimum of one week of termination pay. You may modify your response above; otherwise you may wish to consult the Entitlement part of this tool to determine the statutory minimum.

The number of weeks that has been entered is not a statutory requirement as set out in the ESA or its Regulations. You may choose to modify your response above otherwise; you may wish to consult the Entitlement part of this tool to determine the statutory minimum.
You've entered less than 4%. You may modify your response above; and you may find the following resources useful:

Payment of Wages upon Termination

The calculated termination pay, accrued vacation pay (including any previously accrued vacation pay from the vacation entitlement year that was not paid to the employee) and any other unpaid wages, are to be paid to the employee in a lump sum no later than 7 days after the employment ends, or the employee’s next regular pay day, whichever is later. You may also need to consult the Severance Tool if severance pay is owing.

Employment Standards Information Centre
416-326-7160 (Greater Toronto Area) 
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