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| || |People keep saying that, and I'm getting the sense that everyone's constantly afraid of getting fired. And yet I see every day where I work and elsewhere people screwing up big time and nothing happening. Mistakes that cost upwards of 100k and make or break a project's profitability, managers asking for something next week only to get an answer of the sorts "you'll have it in 3 weeks" etc.
The truth is that yes everyone can get fired at any point, and yes each company is different. And of course there are a lot of competent people around ready to take each other's job. But if someone fired you for no reason, given that they're not freaking crazy (in some way or another) then you were probably too expendable. I mean a manager firing someone means they will have a capacity deficit, they will have to spend time and possibly money to find someone, and then they need to train the guy and wait until said guy gets up to speed and acclimatises to everything happening. Firing someone seems to me to be much more expensive that a severance pack or whatever.
But then again I'm a freaking n00b, so I might be completely wrong
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That's a separate issue. There's the legal situation and then there's lousy management. Just because you can technically let go anyone anytime doesn't mean you actually do it. Also doesn't mean you actually want to. Also, there is no such thing as a "right" for severance - in fact, severance payments are unusual unless there's a mass layoff where companies are legally obliged to work out some kind of social plan. So no, terminating an employee's contract is not expensive in any way.
I'd like to add that in large corporations, rules around terminating contracts are sometimes different and subject to tighter regulations.
However the large majority of Switzerland's labor force does not work in large corporations and needs to recognize that they can be fired anytime.
I disagree that there is a constant fear. I've certainly never experienced it in smaller/mid-sized companies. What I have indeed experienced, though, is extended fear surrounding the constant restructurings in larger corporations. A bit ironic, but true.