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Old 27.11.2014, 16:50
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Expected to continue working after being fired / time off for job interviews

So, I was fired the other day, and have now found out that my boss is expecting me to work from home during my 2 month "gardening leave". Is this normal?

If I were to quit, I would expect it (if that is what is wanted on management's end), but what good is there to make them work after you actually fire them? Do bosses actually think they are going to get good work out of someone after they have been shown the door?

This would not generally happen in the US or UK. Once you are fired, you are outta there. Is this normal in Switzerland? My (former) boss is incredibly cheap and takes, takes, takes. So, could it be just him?

Thanks for any insight.
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Old 27.11.2014, 16:54
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

It depends on what you mean by "fired". If you are fired for cause, I would expect to be escorted to the door and shown the way out (potentially without any pay, if the transgression was serious enough).

However, if you are simply being told that your services are no longer required, your employer has every right to ask you to work your entire notice period. Gardening leave is not an entitlement.
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Old 27.11.2014, 16:57
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

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It depends on what you mean by "fired". If you are fired for cause, I would expect to be escorted to the door and shown the way out (potentially without any pay, if the transgression was serious enough).

However, if you are simply being told that your services are no longer required, your employer has every right to ask you to work your entire notice period. Gardening leave is not an entitlement.
I did not do anything where I needed to be shown the door. But, we do not get on at all so he said that I was no longer welcome at the company. It was not as if a project finished and I was therefore no needed, if you know what I mean.
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Old 27.11.2014, 16:59
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

How much notice have you been given? He may want you to work out your notice from home.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:10
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

What's written in your employment contract?

In any case ask for an official contract termination letter.

It depends on your contract and reasons for termination whether he has the right to do ask you to work 2 more months or not. In any case, you will be paid for those 2 months, no?
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:11
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

References are important here, so try and keep that in mind before you tell him to **** off.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:15
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

Aren't you having problems connecting to the office from home???
No? Are you sure???


Remember, your old boss has to allow you time to go to interviews too, the job market is very buoyant in Zurich - you'll have a lot of interviews there.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:15
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

Go to you doctor, explain what happened and tell him you are now depressed, suffering from burnout and ask for a long term sick note.

Repeat until notice period is over.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:15
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What's written in your employment contract?

It depends on your contract and reasons for termination whether he has the right to do ask you to work 2 more months or not. In any case, you will be paid for those 2 months, no?
It just says 2 month notice period must be given on either side. There is no mention of working it or not. I will be paid for those 2 months, yes. I have just never ever heard of anyone being let go and then expected to keep working. I can imagine that the quality of work would not be the highest, so usually companies just cut their loses and move on.

Plus, they expect me to use my own laptop at home for their work (which is not happening).

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References are important here, so try and keep that in mind before you tell him to **** off.
We have never gotten on so I will not be asking for a reference. Plus, the company is not well respected in the industry. I do have excellent ones from my previous long-term job, though (in the UK).

Last edited by 3Wishes; 27.11.2014 at 18:18. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:20
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

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It just says 2 month notice period must be given on either side. There is no mention of working it or not. I will be paid for those 2 months, yes. I have just never ever heard of anyone being let go and then expected to keep working. I can imagine that the quality of work would not be the highest, so usually companies just cut their loses and move on.

Plus, they expect me to use my own laptop at home for their work (which is not happening).
I thought you said that one had a virus on it/kept crashing/broke/can't run the software
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:24
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

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Go to you doctor, explain what happened and tell him you are now depressed, suffering from burnout and ask for a long term sick note.

Repeat until notice period is over.
Because depression and burnout are trivial issues
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:24
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

It's a normal case of working termination. You will be fired in 2 months from now, not immediately.
You're now in the termination period: that means you get paid for the next 2 months and also that you should work as usual. The only unusual thing is your boss asking you to work from home, this either means he has a lot of trust in you or that he'd rather have you out and get what he can.

Last but not least I second Dandi's advice to ask for an official termination letter.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:27
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

So, if a reference is not needed and your services are no longer required, just enjoy your gardening leave and ignore any requests from your boss. What's he going to do, fire you?
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:28
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

G'day. To explain why the above advice was good and important to note: They are legally obliged to provide a reference. A Reference letter here is not a letter of recommendation, but rather serves as proof to future employers what your job was, your duties and start and end dates. It can be neutral or glowing. If however you get one that makes you sound mediocre or difficult to work with, then a lawyers letter to them can motivate them to re write with a more factual tone... i know someone who had to do this due to a misanthrope being in charge of the reference letters.

In CH future employers can and do ask for these. Maybe not if hired by a non Swissie. So i think the recommendation to play it safe is a good one.... but for them to ask you to BYOD for work from home seems to be stretching the goodwill.

It is normal and acceptable for them to ask you to do stuff or answer questions that no one else can during your notice period. You are technically employed still. In practice however I don't know of anyone actually needing to do any work. In my notice period I answered some questions from my assistant about some simple stuff which was understandable. But no more. Hope this helps your understanding fo what is typical. All the best with your future!
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:28
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It's a normal case of working termination. You will be fired in 2 months from now, not immediately.
You're now in the termination period: that means you get paid for the next 2 months and also that you should work as usual. The only unusual thing is your boss asking you to work from home, this either means he has a lot of trust in you or that he'd rather have you out and get what he can.

Last but not least I second Dandi's advice to ask for an official termination letter.
It is just a strange concept for me. If he were a nice boss and they were a nice company, I probably would not have my knickers in such a twist. But they are seriously the worst company I have ever worked for. He tries to get what he can out of people. That is his motto. This is why he hires so many desperate frontaliere and pays them little and gives them no raises.

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So, if a reference is not needed and your services are no longer required, just enjoy your gardening leave and ignore any requests from your boss. What's he going to do, fire you?
No, but could they hold my pay back? I will not be getting a lump sum like I did in the UK.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 27.11.2014 at 18:19. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:32
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

Legally you're supposed to work out the 2 months' notice unless you were paid off and told not to come back again. If you don't work out the 2 months' notice, in theory at least, the employer could claim damages from you, or retain part of your salary.
Probably worth seeing what you can negotiate.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:34
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

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It just says 2 month notice period must be given on either side. There is no mention of working it or not.
Well, that's what notice period means, there is 2 months between the notice of termination of contract and the actual termination of the contract. So you are still bound by the employment contract for 2 months.
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I will be paid for those 2 months, yes.
So it's pretty clear then.
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I have just never ever heard of anyone being let go and then expected to keep working.
I have... not commonplace but it happens.

Of course they can't expect you to work at your most enthusiastic levels... but this goes both ways - he may have asked for this knowing that you can still ask to be paid for the next two months (by continuing working)

You can try negotiating an agreement to terminate the contract earlier, but as said, the current contract still stands.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:34
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

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So, if a reference is not needed and your services are no longer required, just enjoy your gardening leave and ignore any requests from your boss. What's he going to do, fire you?
exactly my thoughts!
Just try to be diplomatic on your responses, don't create/leave anything which can be used against you later
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:39
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

You were not fired without notice, or so I understand, but with notice. Any employer can terminate your contract any time as long as they stick to the contractual notice period. You are NOT entitled to a garden leave and they CAN indeed ask you to work the x months notice period.

You are NOT allowed to "simply not show up anymore". If they want you to work, it is their right to request it, in whatever form. You are still legally bound to your contractual agreements during the notice period and this includes coming to work! If you stop showing up, it will be qualified as refusal to work, they can then indeed fire you again, this time with immediate effect at no notice and cease salary payments immediately. This will also have an influence on any unemployment benefits you might be entitled to and possibly any future employment ('cause good luck with a positive reference in that case).

So pull yourself together, show up for a couple of weeks and do your work, even if it's at a minimal quality.



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Go to you doctor, explain what happened and tell him you are now depressed, suffering from burnout and ask for a long term sick note.

Repeat until notice period is over.
Yeah, good luck with that approach

Apart from that, all that does is pospone the end of the contract. And open the door to a whole lot of other issues.
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Old 27.11.2014, 17:44
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Re: Expected to continue working after being fired

Quick question; does your employment contract include home office? If not, then surely you are not obliged/permitted to work from home and your boss doesn't want you in the office, so......
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