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Old 02.10.2017, 19:54
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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What drastic measure?

Why would he have to use anything against him?

Tom
To fire someone who (apparently) does his job, without any other signal beforehand is rather drastic. Suppose I'm your manager, you have the impression that everybody is happy with your work and one day I think you're too fat and old for the company's culture. I fire you without any explanation, do you think it's fair?
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  #22  
Old 02.10.2017, 19:55
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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"he doesn't fit the company culture anymore".
This is a boilerplate termination reason as it doesn't imply blame by either party and it's impossible to disprove.

Your partner is entitled to ask for and be given a more detailed written explanation of the reasons for termination.

Sometimes, employers write dumb things, like the truth, in these letters (especially when the manager doesn't consult legal or HR).

Dumb things can be helpful for departing employees.
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  #23  
Old 02.10.2017, 19:56
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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To fire someone who (apparently) does his job, without any other signal beforehand is rather drastic. Suppose I'm your manager, you have the impression that everybody is happy with your work and one day I think you're too fat and old for the company's culture. I fire you without any explanation, do you think it's fair?
It might not be fair, but to fight something the question becomes a legal issue, and legally there is nothing wrong with firing whomever for whatever reason aslong as the rules in the contract are followed up for the procedure of firing someone, and no laws are broken.
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Old 02.10.2017, 20:04
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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To fire someone who (apparently) does his job, without any other signal beforehand is rather drastic. Suppose I'm your manager, you have the impression that everybody is happy with your work and one day I think you're too fat and old for the company's culture. I fire you without any explanation, do you think it's fair?
But that literally happens all the time, here and elsewhere.

Of course it's not fair, but fairness is irrelevant.

There is no legal grey zone here and whether someone has something to hold against the other one or not is irrelevant as well.


Edit: same thoughts as Edwin.
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Old 02.10.2017, 20:17
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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But that literally happens all the time, here and elsewhere.

Of course it's not fair, but fairness is irrelevant.

There is no legal grey zone here and whether someone has something to hold against the other one or not is irrelevant as well.


Edit: same thoughts as Edwin.
OK, maybe I didn't make myself understood in a previous post, I didn't question the legality of it, but as far as I know from my own experience the way an employee is fired has a lot to do with company's culture and there are some options one might find worth trying before agreeing to go. And I don't think that talking about the ethics or the the lack thereof in this context is totally inappropriate, but maybe that's only me.
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Old 02.10.2017, 21:27
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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OK, maybe I didn't make myself understood in a previous post, I didn't question the legality of it, but as far as I know from my own experience the way an employee is fired has a lot to do with company's culture and there are some options one might find worth trying before agreeing to go. And I don't think that talking about the ethics or the the lack thereof in this context is totally inappropriate, but maybe that's only me.
Ethics are always open to be discussed (at least they should be.)

And if OP feels that higher management might redraw the decision if they know the story from both sides it's always worth a try, but also take in mind how higher management feels about the manager who steered them into making this decision, and if higher management is willing to go against their own manager who worked highly likely much longer at the company to keep the husband under him, even if they would redraw the decision the working relation should be considered so highly disturbed that just going back to normal as if nothing has happened is a passed station.
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  #27  
Old 02.10.2017, 21:30
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

I'd take the 3 months garden leave, make sure to start looking for a job, and send some postcards while you're chilling at some beaches to the (former) company if I'd be your husband.

Most people will have such moment once or even more in their lifetime nowadays. As long as you're below 45 or so, and having built up good experience, and of course not working in an extreme niche area, you can easily find something better and just enjoy the paid long holidays in the meantime. Your CV will still read the full 3 months as "regular work", so absolutely NO reason not to stop working asap.
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  #28  
Old 02.10.2017, 22:24
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

+1 for "just move on" (not that it's easy).

This is exactly what happened to me. I don't want to blow my own trumpet too much, but I was a well respected, valued employee with almost a decade of loyal service behind me - I just cost too much. When I was given my notice, a delegation of customers went to complain to the boss, but to no avail. I looked at my legal rights: all you get is a right to look for another job (translates as an afternoon off for an interview now and then) and a right to have a written explanation of your dismissal ("restructuring" ). Had I been a pregnant woman, I'd have had some protection, but I'd been obliged to delegate that particular role to my wife (the boss knew, by the way. Cried when I reminded her that I'd got two kids under three and a baby on the way. Still fired me. So it goes).

The way I look at it now, there's no way I'd want to stay working for people who are prepared to be so dismissive towards loyal, hardworking, longstanding employees. What's the point of pursuing anything? If they don't want you, they don't want you.

Just like breaking up with a partner, the best thing you can do is suck it up and move on.

Good luck!
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  #29  
Old 02.10.2017, 22:43
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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My husband has been fired by his manager because "he doesn't fit the company culture anymore". He has worked for the company in Zurich at an executive level role for 14 months and his work performance has been outstanding and noticed by many people. His team loves him. However he got unlucky with the manager who feels threatened by him and now decided to get rid of him. He was offered 3 months of pay and he could choose if he wants to work during these 3 months or not.
the only thing surprising me is the notice period. executives often have 6 months or more.
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  #30  
Old 02.10.2017, 23:09
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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the only thing surprising me is the notice period. executives often have 6 months or more.
True. But then define "executive".....

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OK, maybe I didn't make myself understood in a previous post, I didn't question the legality of it, but as far as I know from my own experience the way an employee is fired has a lot to do with company's culture and there are some options one might find worth trying before agreeing to go. And I don't think that talking about the ethics or the the lack thereof in this context is totally inappropriate, but maybe that's only me.
Sure. Though he doesn't have to agree to go - he's out no matter what. The question is with whom to discuss and to what end goal. Just for the sake of discussing? One can certainly do that and try to demand some form of explanation - though I'm quite sure the answer will be the usual empty corporate BS we all hear (or say) at some point or another. This is why I'm wondering: why bother and prolong something that can't be changed anyway?

To me, none of this sounds unusual and other than at worst two middle fingers his former bosses probably don't deserve anything else. They either didn't like his haircut, he indeed didn't fit in in some way or another or he simply wasn't as good as OP seems to think he is (the latter two to me are most likely). Or maybe he was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and they needed to get rid of one random employee or they needed the position for someone else. Surely sad and hard for the individual, but sadly corporate reality, as questionable as it may be.
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  #31  
Old 03.10.2017, 04:26
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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the only thing surprising me is the notice period. executives often have 6 months or more.
In some businesses even the lawnmover is an executive by title
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  #32  
Old 03.10.2017, 07:31
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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To fire someone who (apparently) does his job, without any other signal beforehand is rather drastic. Suppose I'm your manager, you have the impression that everybody is happy with your work and one day I think you're too fat and old for the company's culture. I fire you without any explanation, do you think it's fair?
Nope, but it happens. How about being fired out of somebody else´s incompetence, getting the blame, complaining about it to management and still getting fired.
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  #33  
Old 28.10.2017, 02:25
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Re: Unfair dismissal - how to protect yourself?

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Jumping to a bunch of conclusions about the reasons of the termination here, but well...

There are no next steps. People working in this country REALLY need to finally start understanding this once and for all: there is no such thing as unfair dismissal. Any employer can terminate any employee any time as long as the notice period (legal minimum or contractual if longer) are being followed. This is the case here.

Take the garden leave.

And that'll be the end of the story, case closed.

I agree with the general evaluation of the situation, and the recommendations about the next steps. But I would like to give an answer to OPs question "What are the rules around dismissal?" from a legal point of view, because there are rules, specifically in relation to "unfair dismissal":

In Switzerland, we have a freedom to dismiss. This means, that within the private economic sector, employment contracts can be terminated without a good reason, under consideration of the contractual or statutory period of notice, as Corbert stated already.

Although, the reason for the dismissal must not violate the principle of good faith (“Treu und Glauben” Art. 2 Abs. 2 ZGB). In concrete terms, this means that a dismissal can be wrongful if;
  • it is based on the personality of the employee,
  • its purpose is to inhibit claims from the contract (e.g. preventing bonus payments),
  • the termination is declared because the employee exercises a constitutional right
  • the termination is declared because the employee is active in a union

This list is not exhaustive and each point is subject to conditions. But the widespread view of employers having unrestricted dismissal freedom in Switzerland is not correct and. Employees are protected by specific provisions in the Swiss code of obligation and judicial application of general principles of law.

The legal consequences can result in a compensation payment of up to a figure equal to six months of the employee’s salary. It should be noted that the contract stays terminated, even if the dismissal was indeed wrongful.

If OP has a strong feeling that her husband was fired because of his personality or the like, then consulting a Swiss lawyer would be the next step to evaluate the prospect of success. Just keep in mind that the burden of proof lies with your husband.

If you want to be sure, meet with a lawyer. If there is too little evidence or legal ground, he/she will (and must) tell you.
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