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Old 30.09.2011, 09:34
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Employer withholding severance pay

Hi all,
Tough times here. I was recently dismissed from my post and in writing was offered 3 months pay which to be honest I was happy with. I have been paid for two months. My ex boss however has found out I have set up a business of my own and is unhappy. He has said he refuses to pay me my third month (which he has promised in writing) until I answer questions about my new business.

Financially things are tough so wanted to try and avoid a lawyer. Does anyone have any pointers about what I should do?

Any advice really appreciated.
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:42
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Hi all,
Tough times here. I was recently dismissed from my post and in writing was offered 3 months pay which to be honest I was happy with. I have been paid for two months. My ex boss however has found out I have set up a business of my own and is unhappy. He has said he refuses to pay me my third month (which he has promised in writing) until I answer questions about my new business.

Financially things are tough so wanted to try and avoid a lawyer. Does anyone have any pointers about what I should do?

Any advice really appreciated.
When does your employment formally end? Is it at the end of the threee months (i.e. are you being paid out you notice period) or did it end earlier (i.e. were you promised a redundancy pay equal to three months' salary, paid in instalments)?
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:43
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

Not a lawyer but I would write 'Pay me the third month as promised or else I will seek action against you. Any business I started after leaving your employment is my business alone. Good Luck'
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:43
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Hi all,
Tough times here. I was recently dismissed from my post and in writing was offered 3 months pay which to be honest I was happy with. I have been paid for two months. My ex boss however has found out I have set up a business of my own and is unhappy. He has said he refuses to pay me my third month (which he has promised in writing) until I answer questions about my new business.

Financially things are tough so wanted to try and avoid a lawyer. Does anyone have any pointers about what I should do?

Any advice really appreciated.
What does your contract say.......You are still en effect working for your old employer....

In Ch you only have the legal right to be paid your notice period, nothing more.
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:46
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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When does your employment formally end? Is it at the end of the threee months (i.e. are you being paid out you notice period) or did it end earlier (i.e. were you promised a redundancy pay equal to three months' salary, paid in instalments)?


My employment ended when I was fired. Mid July. I was then told (in writing) that I would be paid at the end of July, August and September as this would cover the 3 months notice as it says in my contract. No notice was given. He just sent me an email. I don't really want more. Just what was promised.
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:46
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

indeed it may be related to the clauses that allow the ex-employer to not pay you during notice period (especially gardening leave) if you secure a new source of income.

Has your new venture paid you a wage during the three months?
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:48
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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My employment ended when I was fired. Mid July. I was then told (in writing) that I would be paid at the end of July, August and September as this would cover the 3 months notice as it says in my contract. No notice was given. He just sent me an email. I don't really want more. Just what was promised.
He is paying your notice period, you have to abide by your contract till it's over. So if you are in breach of your contract, he will be able to get out of paying you. Probably non competing clause.
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:52
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

He terminated my contract in writing on the 22nd July. I had assumed I was free to do as I wish after that. My new business has not paid anything yet.
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:52
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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He is paying your notice period, you have to abide by your contract till it's over. So if you are in breach of your contract, he will be able to get out of paying you. Probably non competing clause.

exactly, he was never doing you a favour, or paying you off, merely paying you what he was contractually obligated to. Now you have broken that contract by finding new employment, all be it setting up for yourself, he doesn't have to pay you. quite simple really
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:53
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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He terminated my contract in writing on the 22nd July. I had assumed I was free to do as I wish after that. My new business has not paid anything yet.
well you know what they say about assume
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Old 30.09.2011, 09:56
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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indeed it may be related to the clauses that allow the ex-employer to not pay you during notice period (especially gardening leave) if you secure a new source of income.

Has your new venture paid you a wage during the three months?
And such clauses are pretty common. Read your contract and this letter you mention very carefully - they may well state that you will be paid 3 months or until you find employment, whichever is sooner.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:00
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

Wish you luck with your new venture and it sounds like from other replies that you may be better to spend your energy on that.

Myself I would not give information about your new business, especially if he is not going to pay you.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:02
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

According to the Chomage my contract is incredibly basic. All it contains is details of what I will be paid. No clauses about anything at all. I have phoned the embassy and will pop to the Geminde haus to make sure he's in the right before I let it go I think.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:04
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

oh don't let it go, you've not been paid by anyone else. Just tell him that.

it seems you should be ok based on what you say above.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:08
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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According to the Chomage my contract is incredibly basic. All it contains is details of what I will be paid. No clauses about anything at all. I have phoned the embassy and will pop to the Geminde haus to make sure he's in the right before I let it go I think.
Answering your ex boss's questions may fix the problem. Most things are stipulated in the law in CH, there is no need for a long contract.
If he does not pay the Chomarge probably will, if your not earning any or less than 70% of previous income.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:08
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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He terminated my contract in writing on the 22nd July. I had assumed I was free to do as I wish after that. My new business has not paid anything yet.
Did he terminate your contract with immediate effect, or did he terminate your contract as per 31 Oct 2011 (= end of notice period)? This may seem trivial to you but isn't.

On a separate note, I don't quite see what "the embassy" has to do with it.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:08
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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oh don't let it go, you've not been paid by anyone else. Just tell him that.

it seems you should be ok based on what you say above.
Hope so. Will let you all know what happens.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:10
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

You say your contract is very basic and "All it contains is details of what I get paid" but you also say "as this would cover the 3 months notice as it says in my contract". Which is correct ?

How long have you worked in that role? If there is no statement about notice period in the contract, you are entitled to the statutory notice period which I believe is 1 month in the first 2 years of employment, 2 months from the 3rd year, 3 months from the 10th year..something like that. So unless you have a clause extending this, or unless you were there for 10 years you would not normally have a 3 month notice.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:12
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Did he terminate your contract with immediate effect, or did he terminate your contract as per 31 Oct 2011 (= end of notice period)? This may seem trivial to you but isn't.

On a separate note, I don't quite see what "the embassy" has to do with it.
Just hoped the Embassy may point me in the right direction. I was terminated with immediate effect. 22nd July.It said ""i have decided to terminate our working relationship as from today 22nd July 2011. Your salary will be paid until end Sept 2011
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:13
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Re: Employer withholding severance pay

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Just hoped the Embassy may point me in the right direction. I was terminated with immediate effect. 22nd July.It said ""i have decided to terminate our working relationship as from today 22nd July 2011. Your salary will be paid until end Sept 2011
that's not 3 months' notice in my opinion. You're being paid 2 months' notice.
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