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Old 17.10.2012, 13:10
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I've been misled :(

Dear all,

I hope someone can point me in the right direction.
I took a job with a Swiss Zug based company earlier this year....the job was sold to me with the promise of great responsibilities and projects.
The day I joined the company, the CEO got fired and the whole company strategy got canned.

During the last 7 months, I've had a succession of line managers, who have in each instance been Fired.
My job role is completely devalued and has absolutely nothing to do with what was promised, and I'm now surrounded by a rapidly shrinking workforce as our company downsizes....I fear that I could be next.

My situation is:
* I was misled about the role I took.
* The people involved in hiring me are no longer employed here (including HR)
* I relocated my whole family from the UK at great cost to take this position
* I only have 7 months employment in CH....so no access to Swiss Social Security.
* My apartment rental period is fixed for 12 months (Expiring in March)
* I can't afford to relocate my family back to the UK.

I'm not the only expat in this situation, a number of us are in the same position.....I'm now open minded about launching a Class Action to get some sort of compensation.
Is there anyone out there who can help or advise? I know nothing about the Swiss legal system.

With thanks.
JM
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Old 17.10.2012, 13:16
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Re: I've been misled :(

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I know nothing about the Swiss legal system.
Simple question, do you have any of these big promises and bright futures in writing from the employer?

Without that, you should expect nothing. Be thankful for (still) having a job. And look around for another as long as you have income.
JC
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Old 17.10.2012, 13:22
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Re: I've been misled :(

advice:

- focus on getting a new job instead of suing people
- if you were working in the UK for long enough, you probably have access to social security. search this site for details and send off for the relevant form to the UK immediately to avoid potential delays in getting benefits

good luck!
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Old 17.10.2012, 13:42
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Re: I've been misled :(

Wow. I'm so sorry about your predicament.

The Swiss are usually ALL about contracts. Your employer should have provided you with one. And if so, I would go over it with a fine-tooth comb (so to speak).

I agree that you should start looking for a different job, or figure out how you could move back to the U.K. It sounds like your company doesn't know how to properly treat its employees.

I think you would be able to terminate your lease early if you find a replacement tenant. I believe there are also two times per year in which people are allowed to terminate their contracts early (something like April and October?). Someone please correct me if I'm wrong there.

Wishing you the best of luck with everything!
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Old 17.10.2012, 13:47
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Re: I've been misled :(

It's called 'Life'.
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Old 17.10.2012, 15:31
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Re: I've been misled :(

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* I can't afford to relocate my family back to the UK.

I'm not the only expat in this situation, a number of us are in the same position.....I'm now open minded about launching a Class Action to get some sort of compensation.
Some of the comments seem harsh, but sometimes when life hands you lemons, you need a slap in the face, too, lest you find yourself going off in the wrong direction. The class action suit will be both ferociously expensive and take far more time than you're willing to give it and, in the end, it won't help the most important bit which is getting home.

Personally, as I've done the expat gig a few times in my years, the first rule of expat club is always have an escape account. Something that, should you need to pull the 'chute, you've got cash for a ticket home and money to get settled. It's a mistake you won't make twice.

I don't know how large your family is or what the current situation is but, if you can't afford to move your stuff, sell it. Everything. And get out with as little as you can. If you have a car, you can drive to the UK with a trailer and save on flights. You can get someone to take over your apt lease so that shouldn't be much of a problem. All other contracts and such are fairly easily terminated with proof of leaving the country.

Good luck to you and try to keep thinking that everything happens for a reason, and luck does eventually turn up.
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Old 17.10.2012, 15:35
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Re: I've been misled :(

Sue them, they then fire you with probably 1 month notice as you've been their less than 1 year and end of story.
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Old 17.10.2012, 15:55
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Re: I've been misled :(

I'm so sorry to hear this, hope things work out for you and your family.
It's when I hear about things like this that I'm glad hubby is retiring next year, however we are still unsure if we will be able to afford to stay in Switzerland after that, but that's another story.
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Old 17.10.2012, 16:25
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Re: I've been misled :(

When life gives you lemons... make a lemonade!

While you still have the job, have you looked around for other jobs in the area?
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Old 17.10.2012, 16:39
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Re: I've been misled :(

As Phil MCR mentions, if you have paid NI contributions in the UK prior to moving to Switzerland, these will count towards the necessary 12 months of employment in order to access the Swiss unemployment insurance. With children, you will be entitled to 80% of your salary for a certain period.

You will need to complete this form) from HMRC, and they will then send you a statement showing your UK NI contributions which the Swiss RAV/Social Security office will need in order to process your claim. I don't know how long it will take now, but in 2008 it took HMRC about 3 weeks to send back the form.

I would suggest going to your local RAV office and explaining the situation - they are generally quite helpful and should set out what you are and aren't entitled to.

Finally, good luck - I was made redundant after 5 months working in Switzerland so I appreciate it is not a fun situation to be in.
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Old 17.10.2012, 19:59
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Re: I've been misled :(

Hi

Sad story, really sorry for you.

But a class action is nonsense, the concept does not exist here.

Better to start looking for a job NOW. I also advice to ask HMRC for the form sooner rather than later (it took my wife almost 2 months to get it...).

Good luck
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Old 17.10.2012, 22:50
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Re: I've been misled :(

Thankyou so much those of you who've offered me genuine advice, such as the HMRC form in the event of redundancy.
It's also interesting to hear consensus that legal action would probably be futile.....even though there are many people who share my situation at the moment.

I do want to stay in CH....it's just not as easy to find a job as it would be in the UK. I'm learning German but it's very slow, and at the moment the CH jobs market for me personally is closed down to just English speaking roles...trust me I'm searching hard.

As for some of the comments such as "that's llife" don't even bother to respond to my call for help....your ignorant and somewhat smug comments are most unwelcome.....just keep them to yourself.
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Old 17.10.2012, 22:57
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Re: I've been misled :(

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Thankyou so much those of you who've offered me genuine advice, such as the HMRC form in the event of redundancy.
It's also interesting to hear consensus that legal action would probably be futile.....even though there are many people who share my situation at the moment.

I do want to stay in CH....it's just not as easy to find a job as it would be in the UK. I'm learning German but it's very slow, and at the moment the CH jobs market for me personally is closed down to just English speaking roles...trust me I'm searching hard.

As for some of the comments such as "that's llife" don't even bother to respond to my call for help....your ignorant and somewhat smug comments are most unwelcome.....just keep them to yourself.
There is no concept of redundancy in CH, they just give notice on the contract, it's identical rights to both parties.
FWIW the RAV will probably pay for you to have a German course to help you find work in CH.
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Old 17.10.2012, 23:06
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Re: I've been misled :(

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...

As for some of the comments such as "that's llife" don't even bother to respond to my call for help....your ignorant and somewhat smug comments are most unwelcome.....just keep them to yourself.
Whilst I sympathize with your situation, I do so dislike it when anyone attempts to tell others not to respond on what they perceive to be their threads unless the comments are what they want/like.

Like it or not, this IS an O.P.E.N forum and we each of us have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to comments from others. If you don't want or can't face possible negative responses, then best not to post at all in my book. It's really no different from face-to-face interactions where some will agree or disagree with what we say, as the case may be...
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Old 17.10.2012, 23:20
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Re: I've been misled :(

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Whilst I sympathize with your situation, I do so dislike it when anyone attempts to tell others not to respond on what they perceive to be their threads unless the comments are what they want/like.

Like it or not, this IS an O.P.E.N forum and we each of us have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to comments from others. If you don't want or can't face possible negative responses, then best not to post at all in my book. It's really no different from face-to-face interactions where some will agree or disagree with what we say, as the case may be...
You have attitude girl! Have a glass of Dole.
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Old 17.10.2012, 23:23
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Re: I've been misled :(

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It's also interesting to hear consensus that legal action would probably be futile.....even though there are many people who share my situation at the moment.
The consensus is probably right.

However, if more than c10pct of the workforce (the rule are a bit more complex) has been let go is the last 12 months on a rolling basis there may be a mass reorganisation situation in which case the employer need to make a collectif plan. Speak to an union like UNIA for some advice.

On the positive side you haven't been let go yet and seem to have been offered the role based on some management ability. This may mean you do something useful. What scope do you have to show leadership and help the management through the current crisis? Ask your boss what you can do to help. Better the devil up know and all that.
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Old 17.10.2012, 23:53
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Re: I've been misled :(

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You have attitude girl! Have a glass of Dole.
You sure got it!

Er...totally passed on the Dole recommendation () but happily having a glass of something else!

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Old 18.10.2012, 00:09
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Re: I've been misled :(

One stupid question: How long should he work in CH to have access to the social security? How would be this help if he doesn't find a job and how long would it last?

Be positive and you will get other job fast. You are in Switzerland.
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Old 18.10.2012, 00:09
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Re: I've been misled :(

Just to add my 5 raps.

You have not been misled - or rather, based on the information provided here, you have not been.

The CEO and HR team who recruited you are fired, and the company has changed strategy etc. etc. are not valid excuses at all, in any way shape or form, in any court of law that I know of. It is simply called bad luck.

The situation you are in sucks. No doubt about it. But the chances of getting money from a company that is not performing in a global economic crisis?

Think about it for a moment. Then look up "Merck Serono Geneva" as another example.

Then go update your CV and start looking for another job.

As for state support. You'll get it as you are an EU citizen (I presume) and your work in the UK will count towards it.

Good luck.
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Old 18.10.2012, 00:11
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Re: I've been misled :(

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One stupid question: How long should he work in CH to have access to the social security?
Unemployment, NOT social security (that's only for retirement)!

12 months, but that takes into account that which you've paid in other countries (normally).

Tom
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