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Old 22.03.2021, 18:15
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Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

Hi everyone,

I have a confusion about the job contract with ETH which I already signed, but just realized something weird.

The contract indicates
  • Start date: 1st March
    Duration: 31st August
  • Trial period: 31st May
  • Period of notice: Contract ends without notice. The contract may only be terminated for important reasons as set out in Art. 10 paragraph 4 of the Federal Personnel Act (FPA)

It seems conflicting to each other to have both the trial period and not the possibility to give a notice.

What is the legal interpretation of this? The time I read before signing, I see there is a trial period, so I read "Period of notice" part thinking it means "end without notice after trial period". Now I am not sure anymore if this is a right interpretation.

Thank you very much!

---

In the contract, it also says that
  • Legal bases: in the absence of any provisions to the contrary in this contract, the rights and obligations are governed by the ETH PO, the FPA and the Richtlinie der Rektorin über die Tätigkeit und Anstellung von Hilfassistierenden in der Lehre.

In the PO (Personal Ordinance) they refer to, the part about notice period says:

Quote:
Art. 20a Kündigungsfristen

1 Während der Probezeit kann das Arbeitsverhältnis ordentlich gekündigt werden:
a. in den ersten zwei Monaten mit einer Kündigungsfrist von sieben Tagen;

b. ab dem dritten Monat mit einer Kündigungsfrist von einem Monat auf das Ende des der Kündigung folgenden Monats.
2 Nach Ablauf der Probezeit kann das Arbeitsverhältnis auf Ende jedes Monats ordentlich gekündigt werden. Dabei gelten folgende Kündigungsfristen:
a. ein Monat im ersten Dienstjahr;
b. drei Monate ab dem zweiten Dienstjahr.
3 Im Einzelfall kann eine längere Kündigungsfrist vereinbart werden. Diese darf höchstens sechs Monate betragen.
4 Der Arbeitgeber kann den Angestellten im Einzelfall eine kürzere Kündigungsfrist zugestehen, wenn keine wesentlichen Interessen entgegenstehen.

Last edited by danilins; 22.03.2021 at 19:23. Reason: add context
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Old 22.03.2021, 18:21
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

It is a fixed term contract, and you/they cannot end it early except for special circumstances.

Tom
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Old 22.03.2021, 18:48
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

We used to be on fixed-term contracts but the company said because of some ruling or test case that they in any case had to give us statutory notice and the contract was not allowed to simply come to an end.

I'm also not sure what the trial period then means in this case. Ask them to write it out explicitly.
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Old 22.03.2021, 19:00
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

Fixed term job contracts usually do not include a trial period.

However, they still might: in which case, I would think that you or the employer can give 7 days notice and break contract.

How long is your fixed term contract?
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Old 22.03.2021, 19:06
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

Thank you everyone- I just wrote to the HR to clarify this.

To Sinking: it is only for a semester (till end of August). And my guess is that because the lecture period ends the end of May, they put that as a trial period.

Last edited by danilins; 22.03.2021 at 19:18.
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Old 22.03.2021, 19:09
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

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Thank you everyone- I just wrote to the HR to clarify this.

To Sinking: it is only for a semester (till end of August). And my guess is that because the lecture period ends the end of May, they put that as a trial period.
I would ask for the trial period to be removed on such short contract.
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Old 22.03.2021, 19:20
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

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Thank you everyone- I just wrote to the HR to clarify this.

To Sinking: it is only for a semester (till end of August). And my guess is that because the lecture period ends the end of May, they put that as a trial period.
Sounds about right. One week notice until end of May and then the contract is due to end end of August (3 months later). I suppose you can give one month's notice after the trial period(?) Maybe the "ends without notice" is just to reinforce that it's a fixed term contract and they think they don't need to give you notice to end at the end of August.
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Old 22.03.2021, 19:33
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

To Landers: I totally agree to you. Will ask them to confirm what they really mean, about the notice period pre- and post-trial period from the contract. I think their Personal Ordinance in German is most clear.
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Old 24.03.2021, 10:11
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Re: Fixed-term job contract with trial period but impossible to give a notice (ETH)

A probably final update:

The HR agrees that this does not make sense, and has reissued a contract now.
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