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Planning on buying a convenience store and run with just my wife and I

By Peter Proszanski |

Sam asked:

My wife and I are planning to buy a convenience store in Toronto, Ontario and need to run it by ourselves so we can pay our loans. The store has two part-time employees, one works in the evenings and other works on weekends. By law do we need to keep the employees?

Peter Proszanski answered:

Assuming this is an asset purchase, as opposed to a share purchase, you are not required to keep the employees by law. You must therefore, consider whether or not you wish to assume the current employees of the business. If you decide against assuming the employees, they will be considered terminated as of the closing date of the purchase. All notice or pay in lieu of notice requirements under the Employment Standards Act, then become the responsibility of the vendor. If you decide to retain the employees, their employment is deemed to be continued and the purchaser must recognize all years of service the employees had with the vendor prior to the date the purchaser purchased the business with respect to notice pay in lieu of notice requirements.

It is important to note that, as the Employment Standards Act only provides the minimum requirement of written notice or pay in lieu of notice, employees may be entitled to more notice/pay in lieu under the common law.

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