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Old 20.10.2011, 11:57
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Replaced by a contractor

Hi have a question that hopefully someone can either answer or provide an advice.
Last month I was informed that due to headcount reduction targets, my employment contract would be terminated (along with about 20 other people in 1000 strong department). I would be required to serve my 3 month notice period.
I was accepting of this, because in the Banking industry at the momment, this was inevitable.
However, I found out last week, that they have hired an external contractor for our team to start next month, to cover the extra workload.
Is this even legal? Do I have any rights to contest this?
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:03
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Re: Replaced by a contractor

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Hi have a question that hopefully someone can either answer or provide an advice.
Last month I was informed that due to headcount reduction targets, my employment contract would be terminated (along with about 20 other people in 1000 strong department). I would be required to serve my 3 month notice period.
I was accepting of this, because in the Banking industry at the momment, this was inevitable.
However, I found out last week, that they have hired an external contractor for our team to start next month, to cover the extra workload.
Is this even legal? Do I have any rights to contest this?
'Fraid not. A company can terminate your contract for any reason as long as they respect your notice period.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:05
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Re: Replaced by a contractor

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'Fraid not. A company can terminate your contract for any reason as long as they respect your notice period.
Totally correct.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:06
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Re: Replaced by a contractor

A dictat is handed down from on high that headcount must be reduced. Yet the work must continue, and there's not enough people to do it. Keeping headcount involves HR isn't a option - the managers' have a target that must be achieved in order to get their bonuses. A contractor is just a purchase order, so can be taken on without increasing headcount. The managers' targets are achieved, the work gets done, the managers' get their bonuses, everyone is happy... except the ex-employee.

I doubt you have any legal redress. Perhaps now is a time to think about becoming a contractor yourself?
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:09
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Re: Replaced by a contractor

Thanks. I didnt think i had any legal right.
Bugs me that they didnt offer me the contractor position. Our group of 20 people are exempt from the 4 month waiting period usually imposed by companies when permies want to go contractor.
I wonder if I can get "gardening leave" as I certainly dont want to be around when the contractor starts... rumours are already rife as to me being "fired" and then replaced before my seat is even vacated!
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:12
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Re: Replaced by a contractor

Maybe the stress of it all might affect your health, but the notice period freezes during illness. Have you tried negotiating gardening leave in return for being cooperative and not doing the minimum to avoid summary dismissal/breach of contract?

Except for run of the mill jobs, I find it odd the insistance on working out notice when the parting isn't amicable. It's surely in no-ones interest.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:16
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Re: Replaced by a contractor

When I was told, I was cooperative and quite happy to continue on until the notice period was up. But the contractor thing has really annoyed me, and made me quite angry... and quite stressed
Doing the absolute minimum at the momment, and have a date with HR today at my request.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:25
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Re: Replaced by a contractor

This is the new real world that we are living in.

I know it does not help, but do not take it too personally.
There will be a load more ex-pats in the same situation in the coming months without doubt.

Companies in Switzerland only seem to start realising the global financial crisis and that it is going to have a major effect even on Switzerland.
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