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  #21  
Old 19.07.2011, 13:07
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

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It would be incredibly petty for somebody on the EF to make a companies HR department aware of threads. I hope that it isn't the case. Shameful behaviour in my opinion.

It wouldn't need anyone to grass on the op, given the op's location and the package received it doesn't take a genius to work out what company they worked for (or narrow it down to a handful) I know for a fact there are expats working in the HR depts of at least 2 of those handful so it wouldn't take them very long at all to have a quick check if the op is one of there's.
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  #22  
Old 19.07.2011, 15:13
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

je1234 - its not a forced sale.

The relocation package you've mentioned which includes language training, housing, etc dont come cheap. If you think about it, a basic language course can set you back about 1-2K, housing another 2K, coaching for your spouse? I dont know what that is but add in another 2-3K - professional services ARE NOT cheap here in Switzerland (an electrician charges 90chuffs an hour, so go figure)...not to mention shipping your stuff over, possibly an air ticket etc etc which can easily add up to 10K.

Put yourself in your company's shoes - they've invested that much in you from the get-go. It shows their goodwill and faith in your abilities only to be told after TWO months that you want to leave for "personal reasons". Not the most acceptable of reasons in my opinion, but who am I to judge? Its money lost on an employee who now is throwing toys out of the pram because the situation with his partner didnt work out.

With all due respect, no matter what your personal circumstances are, the contract really is very clear. Even without listing the costs item by item, common sense will give you an indication of how much they add up to.

I am sorry you are in this sticky situation - you'll probably be laughed out of town if you want to pursue the legal route. The best way forward is to speak to the HR about the possibility of reducing the costs and paying it off by instalments. Take it as a very expensive lesson for getting your ducks in a row before making a big move (your partner's situation etc) - or be professional and stick it out. Alot of people have done long distance and survived.
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  #23  
Old 19.07.2011, 15:52
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

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The service was a coach for my partner to find a job in Switzerland. Its cost is approx 11000 CHF The "coaching" started some months before I started my contract and was pretty inefficient in the end. We did not really need it but took it originaly more as a bonus, in case it would help. I finally decided to leave Switzerland seeing that there were very little hope that my partner could join me.

It seems to me that the reimbursement clause of the contract is abusive, it's like you signed a blank cheque!

Wait a minute, if i get this straight, your partner didn't find a job and after two months you decided it wasn't worth it? It takes people (especially foreigners) months and even years to find a job in CH and you expected what? Even with coaching, I'd say 4-6 months is a minimum to find a job. i think you gave up waaay to fast and this time I have to agree with the employer. Having witnessed so many cases of companies that do not "trust" foreign employees and wondering why, now I begin to see it. The investment they made, even if overpriced, was just that - an investment. A bonus, if you will, so that your precious being would accept to come and work for them, enlighten them with your skill and expertise. Obviously in two months you didn't have the time to do it so...now they want their many back. Simples.
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  #24  
Old 19.07.2011, 16:08
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

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Thanks for sharing your views and sorry for not introducing myself

It's true that I had signed the contract, meaning that I accepted all the clauses... However, not being an expert and not willing to cough up, I still hope that there might be a bug somewhere...

Any other opinions?
I don't think that there are enough Swiss lawyers on the English Forum to help you find a bug in your contract. But we do have plenty of opinions to share with you!

My take on it is, you signed the contract and agreed to repay in full for the services they paid for to your benefit. They'll get their money one way or another. They always do.
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  #25  
Old 19.07.2011, 17:22
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

I would seriously check what they were paying for at 11000 sFr.
Sounds really expensive to me and a rip-off.
When I came to Switzerland the company "helped" me by paying for my
first Tax Return completion and submission to the tax authorities.
Problem is that when they added the amount onto my salary, the tax on the amount they paid was much more than the 200 sFr. I am now paying to have it done with a tax consultant of my choice.
Sometimes they really seem to use "upper end" service providers.
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  #26  
Old 19.07.2011, 18:07
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

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Sometimes they really seem to use "upper end" service providers.
Errrm...surely that's a GOOD thing if you don't sod off after two months...?

EDIT - Although I have to admit that in your situation, MarkH, the position is a little different to the OP's.

Last edited by RobM; 19.07.2011 at 18:09. Reason: Embarrassment/unfair comment.
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  #27  
Old 19.07.2011, 18:27
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

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Sometimes they really seem to use "upper end" service providers.
Agreed, it does seem like some large organisations don't use their purchasing power to keep their costs down. When my partner relocated he was offered a lump sum in lieu of relocation services; at first I was a bit irritated as with the language and cultural barrier I thought it would be a lot easier to have someone help us but, with hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened!

I have to also agree that two months is not sufficient to know if things will work out. Is it too late to eat humble pie and ask your employer if you can have another chance? Presumably also, given the scope of your relocation package, you earn enough to support your partner while s/he looks for work that suits them? We did the long distance thing for a year and a half and it was , but it meant that when we finally chose Zurich it was the right decision for our circumstances. I know everyone is different... but it can work.
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  #28  
Old 22.07.2011, 11:13
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

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And learn to read contracts before you sign them or you're really going to suck at working in the business world.
Ent? Read the small print

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I'd say 4-6 months is a minimum to find a job.
Exactly. I know plenty of people in GB who have been looking for longer than that. Go to Spain, or Greece, see what it's like there. Even the US is running at 9% long-term unemployed. There's a reccession on, in case you weren't aware.

In any case, it can take a while sometimes to get the feel for a place. And with Switzerland being such a secretive little place, more so here.
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  #29  
Old 22.07.2011, 11:52
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Re: Reimbursement of the welcome package

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Dear All,

I have a question for you about the reimbursement of the welcome package when terminating a contract during the probation period.

The story is that I started a job and terminated my contract after 2 months for personal reasons. During these two months, I received a number of services (relocation, housing, language training and spouse support). For one of the service, the contract says that the cost are borne by the company, but that in case of contract termination, the following applies:

"Should either party give notice for whatever reason within the first 12 months of employment under this Employment contract, the incurred costs for the service shall be repayable in full."

The problem is that when the company proposed me the service, I did not have any clue about its price, I naively accepted the help offer. I did not sign any contract myself with the subcontractor or did not saw any quotes before starting to benefit from the service. However, now that I have terminated my contract, the company is asking me to pay a huge amount of money for it. In some way, I would call this situation a "forced sale".

Is this legal in Switzerland?
Could you give me any pointers to legal text I could read or share similar experiences with me?

Thanks for your help,
You have legally binding contract which you must honour and pay for. Or write your employer a letter, withdrawing your resignation. Send it by registered post and work for the required period.
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