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Old 11.06.2020, 19:07
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Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

Hi, my wife has a permanent contract with a company in Luzern and has been working there for the last 10 years. The employer now forces everybody in the company to sign a new contract (salary per hour) that according to our calculations would be a loss of 30-40% of her salary, if she would accept it.
Since she has a permanent contract, if she does not accept the new contract, her employer would have to fire her right?
Is it better to be fired or have a mutual termination of her contract?
I mean, what happens in this case as far as Rav is concerned? I guess that there is no way to protect the employees in this case, right?
She is currently in maternity leave. Can she get fired now plus the 3 months (according to her contract she has a 3 months notice to quit or be fired) ? Or can she only be fired after she is back at work? Thanks!
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Old 11.06.2020, 19:37
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

During the first 16 weeks of maternity leave she cannot be fired, if she would be fired than the cancellation period starts earliest after these 16 weeks.

If it is wise for her to accept a new lower contract fully depends on her situation and her odds of finding something else on short or long term and what the salary expectations are for such.
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Old 11.06.2020, 19:42
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

Ah great. That is good news! Is it 16 weeks? I thought it was 14. Do you know if there is a difference being fired and mutually canceling the contract?
In the latter, can RAV claim that you do not get the 80% of the salary since you agreed to leave?
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Old 11.06.2020, 19:59
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

If you mutually agree to terminate employment the RAV will penalize you by not paying out for upto 3 months. Better to get fired...

In her case i would not sign and wait for what happens.
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Old 11.06.2020, 21:14
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

Thank you guys, that is pretty much what we had in mind, but it is good that we got some extra opinions
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Old 12.06.2020, 07:46
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

Always be fired rather than resign unless you have a job to go to.

The new contract can only take effect once notice has been given on the current contract and that notice has been served.

Check the effect on pension etc. as well.

Start looking for another job. Obviously I don't know the details of the proposed changed, but a 30% cut in wages unless I'm vastly overpaid doesn't seem right. Either their really mean, or are in financial difficulty.
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Old 12.06.2020, 08:08
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

Well they are doing financially poorly, or that is what they say, in order to have an excuse to reduce the salaries and earn more as a company.

Anyway, they have hired a few people with the new contracts, so whoever (from the old staff) does not comply with the new contracts, will be disposable.
Also, it is not a straight salary reduction. Instead of having the standard fixed salary, they offer a per hour salary, considering as working (paid) hours, only some hours and the rest is considered administrative job, that the employee must do but does not get paid. All things considered, the total salary with some rough calculations would be around 30-40% less.
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Old 12.06.2020, 08:27
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

The others on this thread have given good advice on which mechanics to follow. From what youíve said here, it sounds like the working atmosphere is either quite toxic already or is on the way to being such.

Trying to push experienced staff out in favour of cheaper newbies is not going to improve things - unless the work is extremely low-skilled.

I would follow what the others have said in terms of an exit strategy, but nonetheless look to exit rather than stay.

Cheers,
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Well they are doing financially poorly, or that is what they say, in order to have an excuse to reduce the salaries and earn more as a company.

Anyway, they have hired a few people with the new contracts, so whoever (from the old staff) does not comply with the new contracts, will be disposable.
Also, it is not a straight salary reduction. Instead of having the standard fixed salary, they offer a per hour salary, considering as working (paid) hours, only some hours and the rest is considered administrative job, that the employee must do but does not get paid. All things considered, the total salary with some rough calculations would be around 30-40% less.
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Old 12.06.2020, 08:42
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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nstead of having the standard fixed salary, they offer a per hour salary, considering as working (paid) hours, only some hours and the rest is considered administrative job, that the employee must do but does not get paid.
Definitely look for another job. If people have to be at the place of work, they should be compensated for that.
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Old 12.06.2020, 08:58
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

Thereís a concerning number of stories like this, both on this forum and that Iíve heard elsewhere. I hope itís not a trend

Good luck dxdydz!!
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Old 12.06.2020, 09:51
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

Yes, I know guys. Unfortunately there is no way to stay there any longer.
The environment is indeed very toxic, and to tell you the truth I do not even think that there is a financial problem.
I think that their idea is to just get the most money they can, and they don't care about the employees.
For me it is just sad, 10 years in a small company and they just fire people in order to save a bit of money that they will anyway spend for training the new employees, who will probably leave in a few months after they see what a toxic environment it is and so on and so on.
Thanks a lot for all your feedback! After all, if she stays home with RAV money for a few months and we spare the money from KITAs we might even end up with a plus in our pockets
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Old 12.06.2020, 10:20
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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There’s a concerning number of stories like this, both on this forum and that I’ve heard elsewhere. I hope it’s not a trend

Good luck dxdydz!!
Once worked at a big company on the south side of Zurich... they did the same thing, told me that time the computer was calculating did not count as work time and therefore I should work 2 hrs extra every day.

I did not comply. Got fired here too
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Old 12.06.2020, 12:53
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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After all, if she stays home with RAV money for a few months and we spare the money from KITAs we might even end up with a plus in our pockets
Careful about this. To be eligible for RAV you need to be available for work - which means "childcare already in place". Whether you actually use it during those weeks is up to you, but even if your kid is not currently attending, it sounds as if you will need the Kita to hold the space open for you - and they will usually not do so for free.

(Anecdotally you might be able to get round it if, for example, you have it in writing that the grandparents are able/willing to drop everything and look after your kids as an interim solution. Not many people are so lucky though.)
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Old 12.06.2020, 14:33
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

And... update from RAV, they say that since they offer her a contract, even if it is not a good one, she has to accept it.
And if they fire her (but they state that they gave her the option for another contract and she declined, even if it is a shitty contract, it is her fault and she will have several months penalty (no money from RAV).

Seriously I do not know what is wrong with this country! 0 employee rights!

This is even exploitation!
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Old 12.06.2020, 14:41
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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Seriously I do not know what is wrong with this country! 0 employee rights!

This is even exploitation!
Why? Because RAV wants people to get back to work? Like any insurance, they will try to minimize the cost.
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Old 12.06.2020, 14:51
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

There are insurances and unemployment benefits in every country! This is unheard of!

Extreme example: if you work 100% and you get 100k p/y, and the employer offers the option to work 50% for 10k p/y, you typically also get a contract an in theory you can continue working.

But the role of RAV should be to also protect the employee, not only trying to minimize the money they pay..
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Old 12.06.2020, 14:55
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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There are insurances and unemployment benefits in every country! This is unheard of!

Extreme example: if you work 100% and you get 100k p/y, and the employer offers the option to work 50% for 10k p/y, you typically also get a contract an in theory you can continue working.

But the role of RAV should be to also protect the employee, not only trying to minimize the money they pay..
RAV is not an union and will protect your rights probably if your employer does something illegally. This, however, is not illegal. Check with the union?

And not every country has unemployment benefits that are so generous as they are here...........
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Old 12.06.2020, 15:04
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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And not every country has unemployment benefits that are so generous as they are here...........
Anyway, I am not going to argue with you. I am happy for you that you are happy with your rights here, I just I hope that you will not get in a similar situation.

In any case, I did not start this thread to get sympathy or hate. I started this thread to see what is legal and what is not. It seems that with the excuse that the company also gave her another option, they can do whatever they want! Both the employer and RAV.

Anyway, thank you all for your feedback!
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Old 12.06.2020, 15:11
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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Anyway, I am not going to argue with you. I am happy for you that you are happy with your rights here, I just I hope that you will not get in a similar situation.
I was not saying that, just saying what the situation here is. And no, have not been in a similar situation with a work reduction, have been let go when my employer closed offices here and had to look for a new job (no RAV involved though).

There are countries with higher employee protection, yes. And in some countries it is a lot less. All in all I think that the unemployment pay here is quite decent, especially compared to some other countries.
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Old 12.06.2020, 15:13
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Re: Employer tries to force contract with lower salary. What are the options?

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the rest is considered administrative job, that the employee must do but does not get paid.
That is illegal.

Tom
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