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Old 20.03.2020, 12:55
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Fired with immediate effect

Hello all!
I was working in a company as a technician, at a drone company. I had to work on the drones in the office, and sometimes travel around eruope, for wind turbine inspection with the said drones.
In the last year I was a "visual observer", helping the pilot during the inspection, but now the company wanted to train me as a pilot. I refused the training, because the work has an offshore part, and I have seasicknes, so it is unsafe, but I agreed to the onshore piloting, and I was willing to contiue the visual observer task.
My contract has a part, which says:
"act as a pilot and/or visual observer for #the company# UAV operations".
Now the company fired me, because I breached the contract by refusing the piloting task.
Can I do something about it, or I have to accept it.
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Old 20.03.2020, 13:28
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

Sign a contract for a pilot, refuse to be trained as a pilot.

Time to give the RAV a call..
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Old 20.03.2020, 13:50
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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and I have seasicknes, so it is unsafe, but I agreed to the onshore piloting, and I was willing to contiue the visual observer task.
.
Seasickness is unpleasant, a bit of a discomfort, but not unsafe.

From experience, one usually gets one's 'sea legs' (and hence no more sea sickness) after a day or two at sea.

Additionally, you can take medicine to avoid getting it so all the above is pretty academic.

I don't wish to sound rude but it does seem that you are making a lot out of nothing and it's probably not the right attitude for that kind of job.
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Old 20.03.2020, 14:27
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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Sign a contract for a pilot, refuse to be trained as a pilot.

Time to give the RAV a call..
Signed a contract as an office worker, with the possibility of piloting and/or pilot assistant. And I did the office work, did the assistant thing, and I only refused the offshore piloting part. Reason for a contract termination, I agree. Reason for an immediate termination, I don't agree.
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Old 20.03.2020, 14:33
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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Reason for a contract termination, I agree. Reason for an immediate termination, I don't agree.
Immediate? Surely they'll honour the contracted notice period?
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Old 20.03.2020, 14:34
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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Signed a contract as an office worker, with the possibility of piloting and/or pilot assistant. And I did the office work, did the assistant thing, and I only refused the offshore piloting part. Reason for a contract termination, I agree. Reason for an immediate termination, I don't agree.
Go speak with RAV they can tell you if it is an abusive dismissal.

Personally during these uncertain Corona days, I'd take the education and as for the offshore part see how pills would work out (for my wife they work pretty great), if you really can't stand a boat your company can't dismiss you instantly since it is not your fault, and if it works out you'll be a happy dude again. It just guarantees your employment and income for the time being, and if you want you can always be on the look-out for another job.
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Old 20.03.2020, 14:36
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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Immediate? Surely they'll honour the contracted notice period?
Depends on how it is viewed. When looking at it in a very basic way "employer refuses to do tasks agreed upon in contract"

When looking at the whole picture however it seems abusive, has to be be judged by somebody who get's to see the full papers and both sides of the story.
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Old 20.03.2020, 14:38
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Seasickness is unpleasant, a bit of a discomfort, but not unsafe.

From experience, one usually gets one's 'sea legs' (and hence no more sea sickness) after a day or two at sea.

Additionally, you can take medicine to avoid getting it so all the above is pretty academic.

I don't wish to sound rude but it does seem that you are making a lot out of nothing and it's probably not the right attitude for that kind of job.
I spent the last year as a VO, basically a pilot assistant, I did the job despite the sea sickness, and the sickness did not go away, I can live with that, I can do the VO job. But I saw skilled pilots strugling with the landing on the vessel, and doing that while you are dizzy, or have to vomit, is dangerous.
When I'm talking about drones, I'm not talking about consumer drones like a DJI phantom, I'm talking about, heavy, 15+kg drones, with carbon propellers.
I agree, if I can't do all the aspect of the work, I have to terminate the contract. My problem is, it is not serious enough for an immediate termiantaion, as I could continue the office work in the 2months of notice period.

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Go speak with RAV they can tell you if it is an abusive dismissal.

Personally during these uncertain Corona days, I'd take the education and as for the offshore part see how pills would work out (for my wife they work pretty great), if you really can't stand a boat your company can't dismiss you instantly since it is not your fault, and if it works out you'll be a happy dude again. It just guarantees your employment and income for the time being, and if you want you can always be on the look-out for another job.
VO work included offshore time also, tried the pill, not working, but I can continue the VO role, as that is now require much focuse on the drone. Also I have an office role, building and fixing the drones, and that I could continue in the 2 months of notice time, but the company not respecting the contract, so I do not have notice period.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.03.2020 at 11:49. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 20.03.2020, 15:12
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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Hello all!
I was working in a company as a technician, at a drone company. I had to work on the drones in the office, and sometimes travel around eruope, for wind turbine inspection with the said drones.
In the last year I was a "visual observer", helping the pilot during the inspection, but now the company wanted to train me as a pilot. I refused the training, because the work has an offshore part, and I have seasicknes, so it is unsafe, but I agreed to the onshore piloting, and I was willing to contiue the visual observer task.
My contract has a part, which says:
"act as a pilot and/or visual observer for #the company# UAV operations".
Now the company fired me, because I breached the contract by refusing the piloting task.
Can I do something about it, or I have to accept it.

Hi there, do you have any actual medical condition that would prevent you from carrying out that training abroad? If so, there could be a chance of justifying your refusal, eventually. Otherwise, I am afraid they may have grounds to dismiss you... Nevertheless this could only be confirmed by a specialist and by checking your contract.
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Old 20.03.2020, 15:25
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

If you are flying commercial drones, you must be under certification of the ICAO or similiar body. Any help there?
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Old 20.03.2020, 15:47
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

Maybe I'm being cynical but is the point perhaps that in this current crisis, the OP's company, and others, are just looking for an excuse to fire people rather than have to keep paying them while they can't work?
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Old 20.03.2020, 15:47
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Hi there, do you have any actual medical condition that would prevent you from carrying out that training abroad? If so, there could be a chance of justifying your refusal, eventually. Otherwise, I am afraid they may have grounds to dismiss you... Nevertheless this could only be confirmed by a specialist and by checking your contract.
I have no medical condition, just the seasickness

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If you are flying commercial drones, you must be under certification of the ICAO or similiar body. Any help there?
I'm not flying yet, I got no training.

A part of the termination letter:

"I can say that it was unacceptable for you to inform our client directly (without our knowledge) that you were sea sick - which not only caused embarrassment for the Company (the matter took us by surprise), but also forced and forces us to look to freelance alternatives for offshore work - placing further financial and logistical burdens on the company."

In the first week of my employment, I spent days with my boss on a vessel, he was the first one, who got notified about the seasickness, and they continue to send me offshore, until now.
I don't know how it took them by surprise. I spent the year getting more training, and more work offshore, so I don't know how I forced them to look for freelancers.

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Maybe I'm being cynical but is the point perhaps that in this current crisis, the OP's company, and others, are just looking for an excuse to fire people rather than have to keep paying them while they can't work?
You are not so far from the truth, the company losing customers, not because of the virus situation, but because of bad resource management.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.03.2020 at 11:49. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 20.03.2020, 16:04
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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I agree, if I can't do all the aspect of the work, I have to terminate the contract. My problem is, it is not serious enough for an immediate termiantaion, as I could continue the office work in the 2months of notice period.
Are you sure immediate termination does not mean you go home and are paid until the end of the 2 month notice period?
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Old 21.03.2020, 00:57
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

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A part of the termination letter:

"I can say that it was unacceptable for you to inform our client directly (without our knowledge) that you were sea sick - which not only caused embarrassment for the Company (the matter took us by surprise), but also forced and forces us to look to freelance alternatives for offshore work - placing further financial and logistical burdens on the company."
Sounds to me like your boss is annoyed that you told his client you were sea sick, they told him to remove you from the assigment forcing him to find a freelancer at short notice. So annoyed he fired you.

You shouldn't be landing a 15kg drone on a moving deck if feeling dizzy. It's huge safety issue and you did the right thing to refuse...just sorry you lost your job as a result. Talk to RAV and if you have legal insurance call them too.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.03.2020 at 11:50. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 21.03.2020, 08:07
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

As a long time sufferer of motion sickness I know that every medication, with the exception of sea bands (or similar devices on your wrist which never worked for me) causes side effects and warnings on the package are not to be ignored.

If you have never suffered from motion sickness be grateful. It really is awful.
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Old 23.03.2020, 00:58
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Re: Fired with immediate effect

Options and they’re often mixed up:

1) Termination with immediate effect means “pack your bags and go and you will not be paid a single cent anymore”
2) Termination with 2 months (in your case) notice period, during which you will get paid and continue to work.
3) Same as 2), but you are sent on garden leave instead of continuing to work

If 1) is the case, then it is not legal. It’s incredibly hard to do do that and reserved for significant cases (think fraud etc). Even then it usually needs a warning first. “Embarrassing the company in front of a client” is not a reason.

2) and 3) are both legal.
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