The Court of Appeal has stressed that employment contracts should be interpreted differently from other commercial agreements. The court included the following as considerations in that exercise:
(a) Many employees are likely unfamiliar with employment standards in the ESA and the obligations the statute imposes on employers.
(b) The ESA is remedial legislation intended to protect the interests of employees. Courts should therefore favour an interpretation of the legislation that encourages employers to comply with the minimum standards of the Act.
(c) Termination clauses should be interpreted in a way that encourages employers to draft agreements which comply with the ESA.
(d) Faced with a termination clause that could be reasonably be interpreted in more than one way, courts should prefer the interpretation that gives the greater benefit to the employee.
See Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., 2017 ONCA 158, 134 O.R. (3d) 48, at para. 28.
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