Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 31.12.2010, 13:03
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Randolf63 has no particular reputation at present
Termination of employment on assignment

Hi there,
I work for a Swiss company and have been sent on assignment to North America for the last four years.
I have a swiss contract, and am CHF paid, in a recent meeting HR told me that my job in Zurich no longer exists and I now need to sign a contract to move on to a US contract for a fixed term of two years with a drop in wages of 35%, after which they would make 'best efforts' (no guarantee) to find me a job back in Europe. There is no other offer on the table.

Does anyone know if the company is legally entitled to do this, do I have any rights ?

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 31.12.2010, 13:40
The_Love_Doctor's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Zugerberg, Zug
Posts: 3,277
Groaned at 72 Times in 58 Posts
Thanked 3,728 Times in 1,752 Posts
The_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Generally speaking yes, they are able to terminate your contract, you need to refer to the termination section of your contract with them in Switzerland.

You will also need to look at the secondement terms if there are any, and if there any time limitations on that, so if your secondment clearly states that it is to be on the same terms as the Swiss contract and they default on that after 4 years then you might have a case against them.

Otherwise I don't see anything non legal here, it's likely your company has already consulted their lawyers and are 100% they're in the clear.

I suggest you speak to an employment lawyer
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 31.12.2010, 13:44
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oberglatt
Posts: 15
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
nyc_mom has no particular reputation at present
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Since you have a Swiss contract, you would still be entitled to the Swiss notice period (probably 3 or 6 months). Other than that, it sounds like you may not have many other options.
Will they sponsor you for a Green Card?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 31.12.2010, 13:45
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: basel
Posts: 2,358
Groaned at 24 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 2,426 Times in 1,164 Posts
biff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond reputebiff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Have a close read of the termination conditions in your Swiss contract, to see if you are entitled to extra payouts etc, before being transferred to the local contract - also a Swiss employment lawyer would be able to advise as to whether you are actually entitled to anything not mentioned in the contract, but presumed under Swiss law. Be aware that the new contract could have less job security for you and be willing to think how best to overcome that.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 31.12.2010, 13:45
The_Love_Doctor's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Zugerberg, Zug
Posts: 3,277
Groaned at 72 Times in 58 Posts
Thanked 3,728 Times in 1,752 Posts
The_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond reputeThe_Love_Doctor has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
Will they sponsor you for a Green Card?
he's in canada...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 31.12.2010, 14:30
KeinFranzösisch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,198
Groaned at 63 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 2,549 Times in 1,115 Posts
KeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
Hi there,
I work for a Swiss company and have been sent on assignment to North America for the last four years.
I have a swiss contract, and am CHF paid, in a recent meeting HR told me that my job in Zurich no longer exists and I now need to sign a contract to move on to a US contract for a fixed term of two years with a drop in wages of 35%, after which they would make 'best efforts' (no guarantee) to find me a job back in Europe. There is no other offer on the table.

Does anyone know if the company is legally entitled to do this, do I have any rights ?

Thanks

Interesting about the 35%. Is that to suggest that your worth remains the same but the wages in CH are 35% greater than market value in the US?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 31.12.2010, 14:58
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 8,714
Groaned at 317 Times in 244 Posts
Thanked 20,040 Times in 6,989 Posts
k_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond reputek_and_e has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
Interesting about the 35%. Is that to suggest that your worth remains the same but the wages in CH are 35% greater than market value in the US?
No, Swiss salaries are high because costs of living are high.
With a US int. assignment while being on Swiss payroll, you basically hit the jackpot.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 31.12.2010, 16:17
NotAllThere's Avatar
Modulo 2
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 15,028
Groaned at 308 Times in 263 Posts
Thanked 23,174 Times in 9,410 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

While the employer may well have consulted with their own lawyers, they may not have - some managers are idiots and don't think about legalities, which is why companies sometimes have to make big payoffs to their staff on termination. And even if the employer has got legal advice, the lawyers may have missed some important points. And even if they haven't, they may know they're on shaky ground, and rely on the employee's ignorance.

Alternatively, it could be the opening shot in a negotiation - they say "take it or leave it", you say "ok, I'll leave it", they come back with a better offer. It does happen.

In a nutshell, don't rely on your employer doing things correctly - get some independent legal advice, be prepared to negotiate.
__________________
Down with racism. Long live miscegenation!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 31.12.2010, 17:38
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 91 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
No, Swiss salaries are high because costs of living are high.
With a US int. assignment while being on Swiss payroll, you basically hit the jackpot.
Not necessarily , it depends on the equivalent salary.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 31.12.2010, 19:01
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ticino
Posts: 3,077
Groaned at 96 Times in 67 Posts
Thanked 4,051 Times in 1,610 Posts
Snoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Randolf63, that's a bummer. At least my company gives you a 6 monthe take-back clause. I.e. they will take you back for at least six months at the same terms & conditions as when you left, assuming that no other position is available. This at least gives you time to look around locally in CH to find something else. Finding a job long distance is always more difficult.

However they also limit overseas expat assignments to 5 years, after which you can go on a local contract with all that entails, i,e, close CH pension plan, no more housing allowance, no more CH health insurance, etc. There are exceptions of course when the company has a particular interest in keeping someone on site, but this requires top level authorisation and is the exception rather than the rule.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01.01.2011, 22:21
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lugano
Posts: 6,550
Groaned at 129 Times in 95 Posts
Thanked 7,960 Times in 3,710 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
Hi there,
I work for a Swiss company and have been sent on assignment to North America for the last four years.
I have a swiss contract, and am CHF paid, in a recent meeting HR told me that my job in Zurich no longer exists and I now need to sign a contract to move on to a US contract for a fixed term of two years with a drop in wages of 35%, after which they would make 'best efforts' (no guarantee) to find me a job back in Europe. There is no other offer on the table.

Does anyone know if the company is legally entitled to do this, do I have any rights ?

Thanks
If you are in Canada, why would you have to sign a US contract?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01.01.2011, 23:24
HollidayG's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kanton Zürich
Posts: 3,038
Groaned at 50 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 1,180 Times in 738 Posts
HollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputationHollidayG has an excellent reputation
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Hopefully, there is a clause in your contract to move you
back to Switzerland even if the job is not here.

Moving can be expensive!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01.01.2011, 23:46
Ittigen
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

I understand originator is in Canada and is being moved to the USA with a new local contract including a big drop in salary. Well if the proper contractual notice is given that would be legal and not worth paying a lawyer.

The alternative is coming back to Europe at the beginning of a possible big recession. If the old job position has been removed in Euope, then the competing companies might also be having difficulties. The result of moving with possible unemployment, is not at all attractive. For me I would cut back on my lifestyle, take the pay cut, and be thankful I had a job.

The Swatch company is expecting a record year in 2011, but Novartis are cutting back on employees.

.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01.01.2011, 23:53
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Berlin
Posts: 22
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts
gail123 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Bavaria has unemployment in the 3.5% range for college educated, there appear to be jobs on offer in at least my and my husband's fields in CH, and if I were a CH citizen I would darn well prefer to be jobless in CH than in the US, where he would have absolutely no support system. In fact, he would be requested to leave as not eligible for unemployment if his job were lost and could not look for a job with another firm as I assume he would have a tied visa, the H1B. Unless he's a US citizen, in which case he could perhaps collect a max of $405/week without health care coverage.
Don't accept the transfer, come back to Europe would be my advice, unless you have an untied visa (green card or citizen) and a US support structure.
And I can't believe they can abandon you there without bringing you back. It's immoral.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank gail123 for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 02.01.2011, 14:16
ipoddle's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: basel
Posts: 1,226
Groaned at 24 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,200 Times in 494 Posts
ipoddle has a reputation beyond reputeipoddle has a reputation beyond reputeipoddle has a reputation beyond reputeipoddle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Utterly disgraceful way to treat someone. Fair enough if the position really has disappeared in CH but if they want you to carry on doing the same job 'abroad' they should at least renew your existing contract with your current conditions. That contract was what you used to justify your move 'abroad'. You should name and shame the company...
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02.01.2011, 15:08
Corbets's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: DK - previously Zug
Posts: 3,321
Groaned at 168 Times in 122 Posts
Thanked 6,707 Times in 2,237 Posts
Corbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
Utterly disgraceful way to treat someone. Fair enough if the position really has disappeared in CH but if they want you to carry on doing the same job 'abroad' they should at least renew your existing contract with your current conditions. That contract was what you used to justify your move 'abroad'. You should name and shame the company...
Why is that disgraceful? He's/She's been abroad for 4 freaking years. At some point, it no longer makes sense to keep paying expat wages to someone who is clearly no longer temporarily there.

There's nothing untoward with this deal. You have to decide whether the wage you're being offered is worth continuing, or whether you want to return to Switzerland, but they're within their rights to terminate your employment if you choose not to take the new deal (as noted, within the termination terms of your contract). Hopefully you negotiated something into your secondment to enable a return (i.e. they pay expenses) if you choose that route.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02.01.2011, 15:35
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Berlin
Posts: 22
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts
gail123 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

My (German) husband thinks that there is no way OP can be left in a foreign country and wonders if he misunderstood HR. We say this as people in DE on secondment from a US firm who have the right to be returned to the US at the end of employment if such end is a result of the US firm. Or perhaps HR is trying it on to move the OP to a US contract which would then allow him to be terminated with no such right of return or notice?
DE husband says no way in heck would he allow himself to be stranded in a foreign country without the ability to job hunt- he'd move right on back to the Schenge area and take the payout to look for a job here while knowing that. Worse comes to worse, he would have medical coverage and a place to eat/roof over head. I'm going to guess CH will provide such to citizens in distress, even if there is no family. The US will not provide that even to citizens, let alone deportable foreigners who have no right to work.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02.01.2011, 17:48
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ticino
Posts: 3,077
Groaned at 96 Times in 67 Posts
Thanked 4,051 Times in 1,610 Posts
Snoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
Why is that disgraceful? He's/She's been abroad for 4 freaking years. At some point, it no longer makes sense to keep paying expat wages to someone who is clearly no longer temporarily there.

There's nothing untoward with this deal. You have to decide whether the wage you're being offered is worth continuing, or whether you want to return to Switzerland, but they're within their rights to terminate your employment if you choose not to take the new deal (as noted, within the termination terms of your contract). Hopefully you negotiated something into your secondment to enable a return (i.e. they pay expenses) if you choose that route.
I agree with you Corbets except that the OP doesn't say that the company has offered him the return route home. He just says that his job no longer exists. If the company really is dumping him overseas without the possibility to return home with reasonable notice, then it is indeed disgraceful.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02.01.2011, 18:01
ipoddle's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: basel
Posts: 1,226
Groaned at 24 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,200 Times in 494 Posts
ipoddle has a reputation beyond reputeipoddle has a reputation beyond reputeipoddle has a reputation beyond reputeipoddle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

It would be different if the OP was a contractor and had come to end of a fix term contract.. but it's implied he's a full time employee who agreed - to the benefit of the company - to take a 4 year secondment.

It's disgraceful because it was economically advantageous for the company to send the employee abroad in the first case and, on the assumption that the job profile hasn't changed, then they now have no more valid reason to cut his wage than your employer has to say to you.. "We can now afford cheaper people than you.. so take a 30% pay cut or leave".. wouldn't you consider that disgraceful ?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02.01.2011, 18:21
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,971
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Termination of employment on assignment

Quote:
View Post
It would be different if the OP was a contractor and had come to end of a fix term contract.. but it's implied he's a full time employee who agreed - to the benefit of the company - to take a 4 year secondment.
As above, we dont' know if he was offered the chance to go home if he doesn't find the current offer acceptable. So let's take a breathe & wait for the OP to get back to us.

Quote:
View Post
It's disgraceful because it was economically advantageous for the company to send the employee abroad in the first case and, on the assumption that the job profile hasn't changed, then they now have no more valid reason to cut his wage than your employer has to say to you.. "We can now afford cheaper people than you.. so take a 30% pay cut or leave".. wouldn't you consider that disgraceful ?
As far as I understand it, they are not really "giving him a pay cut". They are changing his contract from expat to local. Clearly there is no longer the need to have an (expensive) expat doing the work. The implication is that the local salary is 35% less than the expat salary. Not really a "pay cut" per se.

Last edited by miniMia; 02.01.2011 at 18:41.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank miniMia for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Employment Termination Lippy Employment 2 21.10.2009 17:42
Resident at CH - Short assignment in DE? Pavinah Permits/visas/government 0 06.08.2009 13:54
Employment contract termination Guest Employment 29 23.04.2009 22:11


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:59.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0