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GoodLife fires hundreds of fitness instructors in Toronto and across Canada

A decision to fire around 100 fitness instructors in the Toronto area sent shockwaves through the industry this week.

Several people connected with GoodLife Fitness contacted blogTO about the sudden firing, concerned about colleagues and friends who had lost their jobs.

"Goodlife Fitness just fired dozens of employees with decades worth of experience via email," one person tweeted in a response to a Goodlife job posting. "Didn't even bother phoning employees with over 10 YEARS experience. You don't want to work there."

One person told blogTO that, while it is understandable that Goodlife Fitness had to close gyms due to lockdowns, the way instructors were fired was not cool.

"…Goodlife has now wrongfully terminated over 100 Goodlife fitness instructors via email," the person wrote. "Some with 20+ years of experience, no severance."

The former instructor said some people are looking into legal action.

"I don't know the full story, but I'm shocked to hear that GoodLife Fitness is laying off Fitness Instructors - some of them with 17 and 20 years of experience with the company. I'm absolutely floored," another person wrote on Twitter.

GoodLife "made the difficult decision to end the employment of 480 group fitness instructors from 189 clubs across the country," said Jason Sheridan, chief operating officer at GoodLife Fitness, in a statement sent to blogTO.

Sheridan said that due to restrictions on group activities during lockdowns, most of the instructors have not worked for the majority of the pandemic.

"We recognize this is a challenging situation, and we are focused on supporting these individuals as they look for other opportunities, including various open positions at GoodLife," he said.

He added that the decision doesn't reflect the passion and dedication of the instructors.

While one person suggested the instructors were "wrongfully terminated", Sheridan said the staff members were let go in accordance with the terms of their employment contracts and all applicable employment legislation.

In response to the fact that the instructors only heard about the decision through email, Sheridan said it was to ensure instructors were informed simultaneously.

"We notified them via their GoodLife email with an invitation to schedule follow-up calls and address any questions," he said.

He indicated the ongoing impacts of the lockdowns are behind the move.

"GoodLife's recovery continues but the reality is that pandemic restrictions have been hard on the entire fitness industry and especially hard on group activities," he said.

"Because of this, we will not be able to expand our group fitness schedules in the near future to the point of bringing back additional instructors."

Lead photo by

Goodlife Fitness

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