Severance pay in the event of an employee’s death

GSU’s collective agreements with several employers including Nutrien, Richardson Pioneer and Viterra have position elimination articles providing income protection measures to employees who find themselves without a job as a result of their position being eliminated.

There might be subtle differences in the language of each collective agreement, but one thing all have in common is the ability of affected employees to defer employment termination and receipt of severance pay for six months after the initial 120-day notice of position elimination.

Recently a GSU member in Local 2 (Viterra Regina Head Office) received a notice of job elimination and asked whether severance pay was guaranteed to be paid to the employee’s beneficiary or estate in the event of death during the six-month deferral of employment termination and severance pay.

GSU wrote to Viterra management on the union member’s behalf to confirm payment of severance pay to the beneficiary or estate of an employee who has received notice of position elimination and happens to pass away while on a six-month deferral of their employment termination date.

In response to GSU’s inquiry, Viterra confirmed that in this type of circumstance payment of deferred severance pay will be made to a deceased employee’s beneficiary or estate.

In the meantime, GSU has written to Nutrien and Richardson Pioneer to confirm the same guarantee.

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