Termination of employment and lay-off


The Employment Contracts Act determines when an employer has the right to terminate an employment contract. The employer may not terminate an employment contract without proper and weighty reason. 

As an employee, you can terminate your employment contract while observing the period of notice determined in the Employment Contracts Act.

If you become unemployed, register as an unemployed job seeker at your local Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office). This should be done on the first day of your unemployment at the very latest. Once registered, your unemployment benefit process will begin.

Request a certificate of employment

On termination of your employment relationship, you are entitled to receive, on request, a written certificate of employment. The certificate should contain the duration of the employment relationship and the nature of the work duties. 

You can also ask the employer to include in the certificate the reason for the termination of the employment relationship and an assessment of your working skills and behaviour. The certificate of employment has an important role when you apply for a new job.

Payment of wages on termination of employment

On termination of your employment relationship, your employer will pay you all the wages and compensation that are due. These include your actual pay and various allowances, such as evening work allowance, overtime compensation, working time reduction leave, holiday compensation, per diem allowances and reimbursements of travel expenses. 

All wages and compensation due to you shall be paid into your bank account on the day of the termination of your employment relationship.


A lay-off is a temporary interruption of the performance of duties and payment of wages associated with an employment relationship but with the relationship otherwise remaining in force. An employer can lay off employees either for a fixed term or indefinitely. 

If you are laid off for at least one calendar week or your working hours are cut by one or several days due to the lay-off, register at your local Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office). 

Take your lay-off certificate with you when you visit the office. Your employer is required to provide you with a lay-off certificate at your request. The TE Office can grant a laid-off employee unemployment allowance.