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  #1  
Old 22.04.2009, 13:05
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Employment contract termination

Hello,

I plan to terminate an employee's work contract. Having never done that in the past, I'd like to make sure that I do it right :

1 - Before the end of the month, I will give the termination letter to the employee, and have him to sign it, acknowledging he got it

2 - As the employee has worked less than a year for me, notice period will be one month starting at the end of the month after notification.

3 - I will provide the employee with a positive reference letter.

Am I missing anything here ? I've tried to google for termination letter templates or reference letters but couldn't find anything Swiss-specific, if someone has examples that they can share, I'd be interested.
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Old 22.04.2009, 13:50
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Re: Employment contract termination

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1 - Before the end of the month, I will give the termination letter to the employee, and have him to sign it, acknowledging he got it
The other option here is to send it in a certified letter, then he must sign it to
receive it. Less personal, more professional. That is the way most do it here.
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:01
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Re: Employment contract termination

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The other option here is to send it in a certified letter, then he must sign it to
receive it. Less personal, more professional. That is the way most do it here.
Ouch...you and I have different views on management's responsibilities. If the OP is concerned that the person will run amok, then maybe, but otherwise I think the personal meeting is more in keeping with a manager with some integrity. Coming home one evening and finding a termination letter in the mail when you have no inkling that it is coming...well that wouldn't be my way of doing it. I would just avoid doing it on a Friday afternoon....

But then again....to each their own. I don't consider myself to be the Oracle on management matters.

Last edited by Snoopy; 22.04.2009 at 14:16. Reason: typo
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  #4  
Old 22.04.2009, 14:01
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Re: Employment contract termination

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The other option here is to send it in a certified letter, then he must sign it to
receive it. Less personal, more professional. That is the way most do it here.
i agree its the normal way, 3rd party independent verification that the notice has been received.
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:07
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Re: Employment contract termination

I disagree. Less personal - yes. More professional - no. I have never heard of anyone here in Switzerland that has been fired through a registered letter without prior having being told in person in the office by the manager.

All terminations I have handled have been done like the OP suggests; i.e. you tell the person in person and then have him or her sign a confirmation of receipt.

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The other option here is to send it in a certified letter, then he must sign it to
receive it. Less personal, more professional. That is the way most do it here.
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:08
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Re: Employment contract termination

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Ouch...you and I have different views on management's responsibilities. If the OP is concerned that the person will run amok, then maybe, but otherwise I think the personal meeting is more in keeping with a manager with some integrity. Coming home one evening and finding a termination letter in the mail when you have no inkling that it is coming...well that wouldn't be my way of doimg it. I would just avoid doing it on a Friday afternoon....

But then again....to each their own. I don't consider myself to be the Oracle on management matters.
I totally agree it would be both heartless and cowardly to do it that way.

Although I am not sure if Scott meant that the OP should send the letter as a confirmation after having already discussed the matter with the employee or send it as a surprise-letter?
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:09
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Re: Employment contract termination

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I have never heard of anyone here in Switzerland that has been fired through a registered letter without prior having being told in person in the office by the manager.
I didn't type to fire them... simply to send the official part - the letter.

The personal signature works just as well... no discussion there!
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:11
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Re: Employment contract termination

So which part do you mean is less personal then?

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I didn't type to fire them... simply to send the official part - the letter.

The personal signature works just as well... no discussion there!
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:13
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Re: Employment contract termination

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Although I am not sure if Scott meant that the OP should send the letter as a confirmation after having already discussed the matter with the employee or send it as a surprise-letter?
as this was unclear from the OP I just agreed with the answer that Scott gave in relation to the confirmation procedure. it would be very heartless and unprofessional in my mind to send a 'cold' notification of termination.

but the 3rd party verification of receipt of letter is an important point that employers/employees should be aware of.
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:19
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Re: Employment contract termination

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So which part do you mean is less personal then?
To receive the letter via the Post Office. Whether told in advance or not.
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:20
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Re: Employment contract termination

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2 - As the employee has worked less than a year for me, notice period will be one month starting at the end of the month after notification.
If the company you work for is a big company I suppose you also have the option to give the employee the month off. The advantage of that is that the employee will not cause the mood (or motivation) of your team to drop.
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:28
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Re: Employment contract termination

Thanks for all your answers. I do not see myself sending a letter, this will be done face to face as getting a signature is good enough proof that the employee got the termination notice.
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Old 22.04.2009, 14:31
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Re: Employment contract termination

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If the company you work for is a big company I suppose you also have the option to give the employee the month off. The advantage of that is that the employee will not cause the mood (or motivation) of your team to drop.
Surely a consideration. Gives the ex-employee a chance to find a job while
being fully paid for a month. If their services are not required, fair.

On the other hand, it would stir up conversation between the remaining
employees. Unless the communications is good, it could lead to
misunderstandings.


----

Either way, companies in times like this are not concerned about the
"personal" effect when dropping the axe. I have seen where companies call
the employees in to the office one after another to give them their notice.
Once signed, the next is called in. Hard times for sure.
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Old 22.04.2009, 21:32
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Re: Employment contract termination

and please don't terminate them on a friday - the suicide rate is much higher for people 'fired' on a friday than on other days - do it on a Monday or Tuesday, and give them time to have an 'action plan' and start their job hunting instead of being tempted to go out and drown their sorrows on the weekend...
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Old 22.04.2009, 22:00
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Re: Employment contract termination

Would it be possible to find a compromise such as a meeting first, as to find out whether there is a way to work things out ?

If you really feel strongly about the termination, then how about warning the person of your future intentions and tell him/her to start looking for another job. In that way, you won't need to fire the person, everybody saves face and the person has time to find another employment.

These are really tough times at the moment. If that person has any family obligations, firing just before summer could be very difficult. Also if you do, that person will be penalized by Chômage (governmental unemployment agency) and may have to wait a few months until receiving any welfare. Why ? because in Switzerland if you resign without having another job, or if you are fired for a fault you may have made, then the Chômage considers that you put yourself in that situation and your right to any unemployment compensation is delayed.

And you, as the employer, have a legal obligation to fill in all the Chômage forms for your employee saying who terminated the contract, for when, and (maybe) also for what reason etc etc.

I hope you both find a softer way to part. It's quite harsh at the moment, and the person is going to be up against a lot of other people landing on the job market who have not necessarily been fired for a fault. A future employer will easily make a choice no ?

If you need to make this position (mind you, the position) redundant for economical reasons, then I suggest you contact a lawyer and find out how it should be done correctly.
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Old 22.04.2009, 22:04
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Re: Employment contract termination

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Thanks for all your answers. I do not see myself sending a letter, this will be done face to face as getting a signature is good enough proof that the employee got the termination notice.
to play devils advocate for a minute:

the employee 'could' argue that the signature on the letter is not theirs and sue you! which raises the question what is the termination procedure listed in their contract? that at least should be observed.

if you send it in a letter by post REGISTERED, photo ID is required to pick it up.
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Old 22.04.2009, 22:41
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Re: Employment contract termination

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to play devils advocate for a minute:

the employee 'could' argue that the signature on the letter is not theirs and sue you! which raises the question what is the termination procedure listed in their contract? that at least should be observed.

if you send it in a letter by post REGISTERED, photo ID is required to pick it up.
Mais non..... that won't happen. What can happen is that both parties have a legal right to know in writing, from the other party for what reason the contract is being terminated.
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Old 22.04.2009, 23:16
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Re: Employment contract termination

I'm not giving many details on the situation as this forum is public, but please don't read too much into my question, it is strictly related to what do I need to do to comply with the Swiss law.

The personal impact on the employee is something I'm already handling and do not want to discuss here, but I appreciate your concern and advice.
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Old 22.04.2009, 23:18
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Re: Employment contract termination

Surely you are doing it right.

If you experience anything particular, please share your experiences with us.
Someone may learn or benefit from your experiences.
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Old 22.04.2009, 23:36
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Re: Employment contract termination

Fine, then what you need is a copy of "la loi du travail" There you will find all of the info you are looking for. Good luck
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