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Old 30.09.2011, 10:58
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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In CH it makes no difference, the contract is just ended. Either side can do for any reason they like by giving notice.
In the UK, being made redundant means the company no longer wants you, because your role doesn't exist any more, or that they just don't like you! But they will usually say that the role no longer exists ...

Being fired means you did something wrong (such as theft from the company) and the company has followed their own rules, and statutory rules before firing you. These rules usually mean you're given a verbal warning to improve, then a written one, then you are fired. For serious cases such as theft they can fire you immediately. Non-serious cases are usually you turning up late repeatedly, being lazy, not doing the work you are told to do etc.

When you are fired, you are paid up until the time you are marched out of the office and nothing else. The government pays you the legal minimum to survive but no unemployment benefit.

When you are made redundant, you are either given x months' notice or are paid in lieu for those months, and after that period the government pays you unemployment benefit.

It gets complex - many years ago I worked for a small company which didn't pay me at the end of one month. I got a handful of cash and at the end of the next month I wasn't paid again. So I stopped going to work. Usually, refusing to turn up to work means you will get fired (obviously!) but because the company *forced* me to not turn up by not paying me, I filed a claim called "constructive dismissal" i.e. I was fired but it was their fault not mine. That then gets treated as redundancy and (a) the company ahs to pay redundancy pay and (b) the government pays unemployment benefit.

All the above is extremely UK centric. I've no idea how it works in other, less civilised, places
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  #42  
Old 30.09.2011, 11:01
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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In the UK, being made redundant means the company no longer wants you, because your role doesn't exist any more. or that they just don't like you! But they will usually say that the role no longer exists ...

Being fired means you did something wrong (such as theft from the company) and the company has followed their own rules, and statutory rules before firing you. These rules usually mean you're given a verbal warning to improve, then a written one, then you are fired. For serious cases such as theft they can fire you immediately. Non-serious cases are usually you turning up late repeatedly, being lazy, not doing the work you are told to do etc.

When you are fired, you are paid up until the time you are marched out of the office and nothing else. The government pays you the legal minimum to survive but no unemployment benefit.

When you are made redundant, you are either given x months' notice or are paid in lieu for those months, and after that period the government pays you unemployment benefit.

It gets complex - many years ago I worked for a small company which didn't pay me at the end of one month. I got a handful of cash and at the end of the next month I wasn't paid again. So I stopped going to work. Usually, refusing to turn up to work means you will get fired (obviously!) but because the company *forced* me to not turn up by not paying me, I filed a claim called "constructive dismissal" i.e. I was fired but it was their fault not mine. That then gets treated as redundancy and (a) the company ahs to pay redundancy pay and (b) the government pays unemployment benefit.

All the above is extremely UK centric. I've no idea how it works in other, less civilised, places
Yes in the UK there is a difference, here people just say they are fired for example when a company goes bankrupt or a branch gets closed.

In the UK the is statuary redundancy pay, that's why there is a difference.
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:45
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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All the above is extremely UK centric. I've no idea how it works in other, less civilised, places
Thank you for taking the time to explain ^^ In case I face any problem in the future *knock on wood* I at least know how to explain myself clearer
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  #44  
Old 30.09.2011, 12:16
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

If you can afford a lawyer, then take that route.

If he promised you pay in writing, go to the debt collector "Office des poursuites"
http://tel.local.ch/en/q/VD/poursuites.html?rid=O7Jk

If you need free advice about employment, go to your local "Office du Travail" or "Employment Court" maybe your Commune can tell you where they are?
http://yellow.local.ch/fr/q/?where=L...avail&rid=_L0i
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Old 30.09.2011, 12:40
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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All the above is extremely UK centric. I've no idea how it works in other, less civilised, places
In america...



But, yes, along the same lines that 'fired' means termination with extreme prejudice. You don't qualify for unemployment and it's generally negative and not something you want to put on your CV.

To be 'made redundant' or 'laid off' usually implies that there was opportunity for a headcount reduction and you were either too expensive or not good enough friends with the boss, though good enough to not get fired outright prior to the RIF. Usually there are company specific rules on how much of a parachute/severance you get on the way out the door, so it can vary. Often, especially if you're a senior employee, there are strings attached to the severance otherwise it can be revoked.

There are quite a lot of euphemisms for this, too...some rather entertaining:

Downsizing
Rightsizing (I really hate that one )
Smartsizing
Reduction in Force (popularly known as RIF as in, "Bryan got RIFed last week")
Headcount reduction
Staff rebalancing
Vacancy management (love that one...)

In most cases, if you have been working in the current state that you live for at least 1 year, you qualify for unemployment, up to 6 months or so and then can apply for extended benefits as I recall.
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  #46  
Old 30.09.2011, 14:56
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

You're still officially an employee until the end of September. What's been done is that you were relieved of your duties with pay. If you take up employment elsewhere (including self-employed), you are legally required to notify your employer. Payment is then stopped and your employment contract ends early, with your new one commencing when you began work for someone else or yourself.
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  #47  
Old 30.09.2011, 19:49
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

Hi all,
Here's an update. Took the plunge and contacted a solicitor. He reviewed my contract. He said there was no no competing clause and therefore to contact my employer again and request payment. Failing that then he will write on Monday and sort out our paperwork for the debt collection agency. Not going to get my hopes up too much but sounds positive so far.

as a PS. Also spoke to the chomage too. They said that they will also take action on our behalf if necessary (as he also agreed to pay us until the end of September after he dismissed us) and there's some Social fund that we can get fund from in the meantime that they then claim back from the employer and we pay back when he pays out. Turns out we also have a strong case for unfair dismissal but tbh I just want to move on in peace.
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  #48  
Old 30.09.2011, 22:00
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Turns out we also have a strong case for unfair dismissal but tbh I just want to move on in peace.
There is no such thing in CH, you just get your notice paid. You can be dismissed for any reason at any time, fair does not come into it.
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Old 30.09.2011, 22:09
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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There is no such thing in CH, you just get your notice paid. You can be dismissed for any reason at any time, fair does not come into it.

Ah ok. The lawyer said I would be entitled to 6 months pay and not 3 if it was deemed I was dismissed wrongfully.
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Old 30.09.2011, 22:39
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Ah ok. The lawyer said I would be entitled to 6 months pay and not 3 if it was deemed I was dismissed wrongfully.
That's interesting, if you ask for a reason why you were dismissed they will make up a reason, generally they will lie & have witnesses. It's a funny old world.

Your only getting 2 months however........
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Old 30.09.2011, 22:45
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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That's interesting, if you ask for a reason why you were dismissed they will make up a reason, generally they will lie & have witnesses. It's a funny old world.

Your only getting 2 months however........
Yeah probably. Just want my Sept payment if entitled to it then happy to move on. Time will tell I suppose.
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Old 01.10.2011, 11:37
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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There is no such thing in CH, you just get your notice paid. You can be dismissed for any reason at any time, fair does not come into it.
Well there is indeed such a thing as unfair dismissal in Swiss law (Art. 336 and following CO). However, the maximum sanction is six months' pay (or two months' pay in case of mass redundancy without due consultation). You cannot obtain reinstatement (i.e. you job back).
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Old 01.10.2011, 11:59
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Well there is indeed such a thing as unfair dismissal in Swiss law (Art. 336 and following CO). However, the maximum sanction is six months' pay (or two months' pay in case of mass redundancy without due consultation). You cannot obtain reinstatement (i.e. you job back).
The company only need to state they are cost cutting, with the strengthening CHF most companies could prove it. I can't see that legislation is going to help much in the middle of a recession.
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Old 01.10.2011, 12:11
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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The company only need to state they are cost cutting, with the strengthening CHF most companies could prove it. I can't see that legislation is going to help much in the middle of a recession.
Well yeah, you know that, and I know that, and any half-decent HR department knows that, but it appears cbb's (former) employer didn't. Given the rather limited scope of "unfair dismissal" under Swiss law, it takes a bunch of boneheads in HR to meet the requirements IMHO. But maybe they actually did act like boneheads. In which case: Tough luck for them, and six months' extra pay for our cbb.
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Old 03.10.2011, 17:55
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

Ok guy;s update. My solicitor phone my ex boss and explained he had to pay me and my partner for the third month as he'd agreed. We'd signed no non compete clause. He paid us this morning. Seems we'd have a strong case for wrongful dismissal but we both just want to move on. Only need 5k more Francs then have enough for a deposit on a house in the UK and can return home to be with family. Had 5 great years in Switzerland though
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Old 03.10.2011, 18:01
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Ok guy;s update. My solicitor phone my ex boss and explained he had to pay me and my partner for the third month as he'd agreed. We'd signed no non compete clause. He paid us this morning. Seems we'd have a strong case for wrongful dismissal but we both just want to move on. Only need 5k more Francs then have enough for a deposit on a house in the UK and can return home to be with family. Had 5 great years in Switzerland though
Wish you luck for the future
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