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  #21  
Old 19.01.2015, 13:08
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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With current job market, I'm afraid to fight with HR.
Everybody is afraid to fight HR which is why they bully people around. I understand what you are saying, so be reasonable and you can sleep well.
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  #22  
Old 19.01.2015, 13:08
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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Rule 1: Normally the most incompetent idiots in any company are in HR
This is true.

Something comparable happened to me. Well, not really comparable in terms of the magnitude. They were transferring me from one company to another within the same group as part of a restructuring exercise and they promised the transfer would not affect my salary or benefits. But when the contract came around, the salary was the same amount. In the old company I had also received Reka cheques and I asked if this would continue in the new and if they could give me some written confirmation of this. They went into absolute denial and accused me of making that up and said "nobody gets Reka cheques in this company". I asked them to ask my old HR partner and the lumbering idiot actually confirmed their point of view and said I had never received any Reka cheques.

I escalated this with my boss and it took quite a bit of pushing and pulling and actually rubbing documents under people's noses until they agreed to a slight salary increase which never made good the lost Reka cheques but at least gave me some level of satisfaction.

They never apologised over calling me a liar though, or admitted any fault on their part.
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  #23  
Old 19.01.2015, 13:12
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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Rule 2: A contract is a contract.
A contract between you and a car dealership where you have the choice of never seeing them again is very different to one between colleagues (effectively). The most important thing is that the OP is not getting any less than anyone else, so its not like he's being screwed over. All thats happened is that some busy/careless/stupid person has made a mistake, which you can either shout and scream about or accept with good grace.
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Old 19.01.2015, 13:19
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No, they don't, at least not in any meaningful sense. If they decide that an employee is too expensive, he can be let go after the agreed notice period, no further "reason" required.
They need a valid reason, too expensive is a valid reason but can be challenged. If they fire somebody for being too expensive within a short time of hiring that person they will probably lose unless they are letting several people go at the same time. You should talk to my wife, she's been there, done it and won. After she won they still didn't pay her so she started bankruptcy proceedings against them - then they paid up pretty quickly.

However, in this case i think the OP should be reasonable and accept the offer from HR. But if it was me (30 years work experience and savings behind me) I would fight.

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A contract between you and a car dealership where you have the choice of never seeing them again is very different to one between colleagues (effectively). The most important thing is that the OP is not getting any less than anyone else, so its not like he's being screwed over. All thats happened is that some busy/careless/stupid person has made a mistake, which you can either shout and scream about or accept with good grace.
Absolutely true, but I wonder how HR would have reacted if the mistake was in their favour and not in the employees favour? Some HR people would be reasonable but in my experience a lot wouldn't.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.01.2015 at 17:31. Reason: merging successive posts
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  #25  
Old 19.01.2015, 14:42
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

Despite your understandable & intense frustration, you have to think long term. I am in a similar issue (with much bigger amounts) .

If this was a once off deal, I would stick my ground and apply the contract rules . However you are entering into a relationship, which you need to build off a positive start.

Suggest Win-Win , things such as : they give you a loan to pay off your contractual conditions you have incurred, but you pay it back to them over a much longer period (interest free) - hence impacting you less.

If you play hardball with your employer, the odds are against you these days.
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  #26  
Old 19.01.2015, 15:19
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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Despite your understandable & intense frustration, you have to think long term. I am in a similar issue (with much bigger amounts) .

If this was a once off deal, I would stick my ground and apply the contract rules . However you are entering into a relationship, which you need to build off a positive start.

Suggest Win-Win , things such as : they give you a loan to pay off your contractual conditions you have incurred, but you pay it back to them over a much longer period (interest free) - hence impacting you less.

If you play hardball with your employer, the odds are against you these days.
I think I will rest my case and take whatever they want to give. No choice have I got.
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  #27  
Old 19.01.2015, 15:41
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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I think I will rest my case and take whatever they want to give. No choice have I got.
I think you could negotiate 50% of what you should have received without too much problem
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  #28  
Old 19.01.2015, 15:49
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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I think I will rest my case and take whatever they want to give. No choice have I got.
When something appears ridiculously wrong, i.e. an extra zero on a figure, so instead of 3,000, it reads 30,000, then I can see a company arguing over this amount of money.

My understanding is that the error was quite different, a completely wrong digit. Having double checked it, I don't know what more you could have done. At the interview stage were the relocation expenses discussed? Do you have anything else in writing before the contract?

If you are relocating locally, there are still expenses though not as high as an international move. I know companies who are very generous with local relocation packages. I have relocated many clients within Switzerland. Some said changing cantons felt like moving overseas!

Most employment contracts have a clause that relocation money is to be paid back if you leave before a certain period of time. The other condition is that the money is taxable. So I am a bit unclear how you borrowed money against the original figure, or why you even needed to borrow money if the figure was so generous.

I think the best option here is to sit down with HR and see if they will pay directly for some of the relocation expenses instead of giving you the higher sum of money as per the contract. Companies often get better rates on moving than individuals.

I hope you find a good solution as starting off on the wrong foot with an employer is not ideal. On the other hand, this is not an enormous sum of money and possibly what they are worried about is setting a precedent. Just tell them you are worth it.
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  #29  
Old 19.01.2015, 16:23
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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Rule 1: Normally the most incompetent idiots in any company are in HR
And maybe thats' because in many cases, too many people are butting into HR decisions (probably because they think they know everything and HR is disposable), only for HR to then have to take the blame for whatever stupid thing was promised or initiated by someone who shouldn't have promised or initiated anything at all. This is further exacerbated by ridiculous rules and regulations, and the bigger the company, the worse it gets. Maybe not in this current case here, but just so you maybe see the other side to this as well rather than dismissing HR altogether (though I do agree that many are incompetent and I could write a very lengthy explanation as to why that's the case, but why bother...)



OP, why do you have to borrow money if you got an allowance? I understand you signed a written offer - in general, that is binding, for both parties. Mistakes happen, but if one party made a mistake, that's their mess to sort out - i.e. the company would have to pay up in this case, their loss, not your problem.

However, things are apparently not that simple and now it's a judgement call. I understand you actually do want to work with this company, so you might want to be careful. You can insist to receive what offered and in the worst case, you can claim that through an attorney. You will win, but will very very very likely also be out of a job. Needless to say that's not the preferred option.

Or you can try to renegotiate with them, though I certainly wouldn't give in immediately, but instead explain (in a friendly matter of course) that you took certain steps (without details) based on this offer and do not see that it was your mistake in any way, then ask what their counteroffer would be etc. Something like that.


And P.S. no company needs a reason to terminate an employee's contract in this country. EVER.

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  #30  
Old 19.01.2015, 16:37
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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OP, why do you have to borrow money if you got an allowance?
Probably because both the error and the "corrected" version involve him being paid after the move. One is a payment every 12 months, the other is a payment after 12 months, but he needs cash to move prior to the move. Myself, I would have negotiated that the company pay me up front and claw it back if I left within a year, but in his case it seems to make sense to take the loan.

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And P.S. no company needs a reason to terminate an employee's contract in this country. EVER.
Yup.
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  #31  
Old 19.01.2015, 17:18
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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Probably because both the error and the "corrected" version involve him being paid after the move. One is a payment every 12 months, the other is a payment after 12 months, but he needs cash to move prior to the move. Myself, I would have negotiated that the company pay me up front and claw it back if I left within a year, but in his case it seems to make sense to take the loan.
OK, that makes sense.

But do I understand correctly that not only was it changed from "one lump-sum payment" to "12 monthly installments", but that also the total amount is significantly lower?
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  #32  
Old 19.01.2015, 17:34
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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OK, that makes sense.

But do I understand correctly that not only was it changed from "one lump-sum payment" to "12 monthly installments", but that also the total amount is significantly lower?
The new total amount they want to pay me is 3000 plus relocation service. Relocation service have not been very helpful for me before. So I said I dont need it.
So, the HR said 4000 is the max they can give as one payment.
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  #33  
Old 19.01.2015, 17:48
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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OK, that makes sense.

But do I understand correctly that not only was it changed from "one lump-sum payment" to "12 monthly installments", but that also the total amount is significantly lower?
I understood it to mean that he would be paid a relocation allowance of 1000 chf once but that they may a mistake in the contract and wrote 1000chf once per month for 12 months. So instead of the 1000 chf originally intended they were going to have to pay 12 000 chf in total. Quite a big difference.

I guess the OP took out a loan based on him having 1000 chf per month extra income during the 12 month period which he intended to use to repay the loan.

The company is now offering him 4000 chf as a compromise so he is better off than if they hadn't made the mistake but worse off than he would have been had they not noticed. ( assuming he accepts the money)
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  #34  
Old 19.01.2015, 17:59
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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The new total amount they want to pay me is 3000 plus relocation service. Relocation service have not been very helpful for me before. So I said I dont need it.
So, the HR said 4000 is the max they can give as one payment.
And originally, they offered 10k and no relocation service?

Maybe say 5k and ask for relocation service regardless. The latter might substitute for some of the other cost? At the same time see if you can change the loan so that it's not a burden.

Do you want the job?
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  #35  
Old 19.01.2015, 18:03
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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The new total amount they want to pay me is 3000 plus relocation service. Relocation service have not been very helpful for me before. So I said I dont need it.
So, the HR said 4000 is the max they can give as one payment.

chf 3000 plus relocation service cannot possibly total chf 4000.

If you didn't want the relocation service offered, you could have asked for the sum of money and hired your own relocation person. I had clients who did just that. Some employers don't mind if you choose a different agency. Sometimes they want to check out that person first. Other times they don't care as long as the relocation agency's fee is within the budget.

Of course you can try and relocate without any assistance. There are those who have done so but often they did not have an offer of relocation assistance. If you speak the local language at both the departure point and destination point you might be fine.
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Old 19.01.2015, 18:06
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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chf 3000 plus relocation service cannot possibly total chf 4000.
I understood this would have been 4000 as a lump-sum allowance PLUS relo service?

OP I think we are all a bit confused here.

Can you please summarize
1) what was it that was originally offered
2) what was it that was offered when the mistake was discovered
3) what offer is currently on the table
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  #37  
Old 19.01.2015, 18:09
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

1,000 relocation isn't great, and 12,000 would be really quite generous.

The 4,000 compromise seems reasonable, though technically you might be able to hold them to the contract.

It depends on how confident you feel that they need you more than you need them. If you'd be expensive to replace and you have backup options, then it might be worth a punt if you are prepared for a fight.

Is this an internal transfer with some previous employment history with them? If you're a new hire, your notice period may be just a week; they could decide you're "not a good fit" and leave you stranded in Switzerland if they think it's easier and cheaper to offer the job to the next best person.

Personally, I'd probably take the 4k and let them know you're doing them a favour.
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  #38  
Old 19.01.2015, 18:52
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

The contract will also allow them to terminate you with certain short notice in the first 3 months. I would advise you to be very careful.

What is the loan for?
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  #39  
Old 20.01.2015, 11:11
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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I understood this would have been 4000 as a lump-sum allowance PLUS relo service?

OP I think we are all a bit confused here.

Can you please summarize
1) what was it that was originally offered
2) what was it that was offered when the mistake was discovered
3) what offer is currently on the table
1. 12*1000CHF
2. 3000CHF+ relocation services
3. Max possible is 50%. so 6000CHF
I'm thinking of taking 50% plus an advance which could lessen my burden.
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  #40  
Old 20.01.2015, 11:13
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Re: Allowances mistake by HR

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The contract will also allow them to terminate you with certain short notice in the first 3 months. I would advise you to be very careful.

What is the loan for?
Back home, my our business is bankrupt, took the loan to cover some debts.
I really need this money. But I'm afraid of the consequences.
My boss says, there will be no negative impact if I rejected their offer.

Also, in the mean time, I'm going for a training from the company costing around 2500CHF, So I assume they need me.
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