Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Reasonable Notice for Resignation


A teacher accepts a job with another board and resigns from his current board by giving two weeks’ notice. The board refuses his resignation, saying he must give them reasonable notice, eight weeks in advance of his departure.


In the absence of a written contractual requirement, the issue of resignations or termination is governed first, by the collective agreement, and second, by Common Law. For clarification and interpretation of the resignation/termination clauses in the collective agreement, contact your local president or grievance officer


Since Bill 160 became law, the previous dates for resignation/ termination (November 30 for December 31, and May 31 for August 31) have not applied. Clauses to govern resignations and terminations should be negotiated into collective agreements. In Common Law, there is no legislative requirement that an employee provide a specific period of notice to the employer before resigning. However, the legislation is quite specific about how much notice an employer must give an employee. Theoretically, it can be argued an employee has the same obligation to provide “reasonable notice” of resignation as the employer has to provide “reasonable notice” of termination. Legal counsel says that under normal circumstances, two weeks’ notice is reasonable. However, what constitutes “reasonable notice” may vary depending on factors such as the time of year, the availability of replacement teachers, special skills and the location of the board.

In response to questions about the circumstances under which it would consider a teacher’s resignation to be unprofessional conduct, the Ontario College of Teachers says that it has no position on the issue. The College expects teachers to follow the relevant legislation and regulations. OECTA advises teachers always to be professional and considerate and to take into account the needs of students when submitting resignations.