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  #21  
Old 17.06.2021, 20:19
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

The 10 or so termination agreements I have reviewed all contained a clause stipulating the person should remain available to perform work duties, should they be asked to. They also contained clauses restricting what the person could do, pertaining to things like undertaking other work, during the garden leave, so the person was not free to make whatever plans they'd like.

OP your agreement is your North Star on this important point. Don't be swayed by well-intentioned opinions (mine neither, it goes without saying), when you can simply check the legal terms. We haven't seen your agreement.
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  #22  
Old 17.06.2021, 20:58
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

I would be careful about your permit situation as well. If I understood correctly you have only UK citizenship and not yet a C permit. If you were to move, de-register and turn in the permit, I think you would be subject to the non-EU hiring criteria post Brexit if you were to come back. Thus, if there's any interest in searching for a job in CH you are in a good position for that now, but give up the residency/permit, an employer would have to go through the non-EU hurdles as I understand.
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  #23  
Old 17.06.2021, 21:59
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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Well yes exactly. Why advise it's a risky strategy then say that it never happens?
When you're told to go on garden leave, you're being told that you are and will not be needed. I know some people who voluntarily continued to work but they got extra compensation for that. When you're on gardening leave you're not on call and you're free to make whatever plans you want.
I did not say that it never happens, I said I never heard of it happening, there is a very big difference.

And contrary to what you think you are not free to do whatever you like when on gardening leave you are still subject to the terms of your contract and can be held to it. I had gardening leave twice and in both cases the discharge documents made it clear you needed to return when required.

I don’t know the actual circumstances of his dismissal nor the type of people that he is dealing with and I hope it is not the case but there is the change that some little git wants to make it difficult for the OP.

So the OP has to decide on the risk in the end.
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  #24  
Old 17.06.2021, 22:21
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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Does it boil down to this:
I risk moving away at the end of September which may end my gardening leave payments, so miss out on 3 months Swiss salary
OR
Keep the flat and suck up the rent until March but guarantee the September to December salary payments

Thanks all
So, 3 month's salary vs.3 month rent. - er... do the maths. Losing the latter is worse than the former.

I was forced out of my job. (And, btw, if I got a job earlier the terms of agreement meant the gardening leave woud have been paid out as a lump sum) I just went freelance in Switzerland and enjoy my life. Decide where you want to be, continue getting your salary.

Always look at the cost benefit analyiss.
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  #25  
Old 17.06.2021, 22:27
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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Does it boil down to this:
I risk moving away at the end of September which may end my gardening leave payments, so miss out on 3 months Swiss salary
OR
Keep the flat and suck up the rent until March but guarantee the September to December salary payments

Thanks all
I don’t thing it’s as limited as that…. I think you need to take some time to think it out a bit more….

For instance, would it be possible to let your apartment go and register you address at a friends place or stay in an Airbnb instead?

By making a quick exit you are passing on something like 500 days of benefits… are you sure you can set things up in the UK so quickly at 55? Might it be better to hang on a while and return with 3 months benefits on top of this?
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  #26  
Old 18.06.2021, 02:39
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

I'd suggest cancelling your flat from September and finding a cheapest room in WG you can find.
That way you keep CH address for permit stuff, and not spend full amount on rent, and you have place to come for in person interviews, and then with time decide what you'll do after 6 months.

6 months is a quite long period and if you keep applying for jobs, with such experience you should land something decent in that time.

Good luck with everything!
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  #27  
Old 18.06.2021, 08:25
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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I'd suggest cancelling your flat from September and finding a cheapest room in WG you can find.


Again thanks to everyone, good advice and I appreciate all the opinions.... and still check the facts.

One decision is made, I will give up my current apartment at the end of September, I checked that with the rental company and I can leave 30th Sept. I will then move into a small furnished AirBnB from the end September to end December. I already checked with a couple of hosts and they have no issues with me registering the AirBnB as my "permanent" Swiss address. Doing the maths... works out financially ok, better than staying in my current lovely but expensive place until March due to my ridiculous contract (checked).

That sorts out any issues with B permit, allows me to stay on gardening leave and still allows me easy way to leave Switzerland if needed.

It also gives me time to think a bit more about the future... time pressure was linked to my apartment. I'll need to out everything into storage or ship it to the UK but I have a bit of a breather to figure that part out.

Thx everyone... not enough posts on this account to give a "thanks" yet but communal thumbs up...
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  #28  
Old 18.06.2021, 08:33
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

Hi!

Stay strong and like the others said, do not rush into anything that has longer consequences.

Do you have a bonus? If so what agreement were you offered? If the company claims they are not obliged to pay it etc as you are on notice at a certain date kindly note that labour law typically favours the employee on this and whilst indeed you would resign the company is not obliged to pay it, its a little different if they cancel the contract. So this may be something you want to look into.

Same with holiday pay - there were a few threads on this whereby only a certain amount can deemed to be used during garden leave and not all, rest needs to be paid out.

If you have decided you may leave anyway, you could also offer to take a lumpsum and be off their books immediately. Companies may like that as you are an immediate FTE reduction, may even negotiation a little more settlement. However, this may shorten your avaiable time here so beware and look into this.

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  #29  
Old 18.06.2021, 08:45
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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The 10 or so termination agreements I have reviewed all contained a clause stipulating the person should remain available to perform work duties, should they be asked to. They also contained clauses restricting what the person could do, pertaining to things like undertaking other work, during the garden leave, so the person was not free to make whatever plans they'd like.
Termination "agreement"
I can't say too much but I do know/feel like I was f^%"ed ... I made a mistake during the sacking meeting and signed the "notice of termination" as asked. I was in shock, never been sacked in my life and have been with the company in various countries (different legal entities) for 20 years. I now know I shouldn't have signed but should have asked to take it away and discuss with a lawyer... lesson learnt.

But I want to move forwards... what is done is done. This may sound crazy to some but the mental strain of fighting unfair dismissal and stuff like that, fighting for a better compensation plan all feels too overwhelming; psychologically I have to let go. I'm reluctant to get lawyers involved, the company lawyer was in the sacking meeting so [ex employer] will have done their work carefully.

A couple of lines I think I can "publish":

- "effective date of termination will be 31 December 2021"
- "given leave with immediate effect"
- "[the company] will dispense with your services until the end of the employment period, accordingly you are prohibited from working in [the company] name during the term of leave of absence"

That's from the "notice of termination" letter I was given... so I guess I am technically free to do what I like... I was given a contact email address in case of questions but I just got an automated response "your enquiry has been logged" but no answer back. I guess they are swamped so [the company] isn't giving me any help...

p.s. I was given a form to fill in about my pension but will post separately on that...
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  #30  
Old 18.06.2021, 09:01
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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Hi!
Do you have a bonus? If so what agreement were you offered?
[the company]is willing to grant a pro rata bonus from the time 1st January 2021 until start of leave of absence"
So I get part bonus for the first 6 months of the year, paid at end December 2021.

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Same with holiday pay - there were a few threads on this whereby only a certain amount can deemed to be used during garden leave and not all, rest needs to be paid out.
I think they covered that by saying..."a maximum of one-third of the days granted as leave of absence can be counted as [vacation]. Any remaining balance will be paid out in the month of departure".
On gardening leave for 6 months... so that's 2 months as vacation and I don't have more than 2 months worth of vacation days left for 2021. Sigh.

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If you have decided you may leave anyway, you could also offer to take a lumpsum and be off their books immediately. Companies may like that as you are an immediate FTE reduction, may even negotiation a little more settlement
I like that idea but I think it might be too upsetting to enter negotiations. Also as you say it probably limits other options... food for thought though so thanks for the idea.

Does all the above sound "reasonable" by the ex-employer? I know it's just opinions on a forum and not legal advice... just curious
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  #31  
Old 18.06.2021, 09:05
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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- "[the company] will dispense with your services until the end of the employment period,
Sweet. Once you've come to terms with it, this could be an excellent opportunity to take that trip you've been promising yourself, 3 months in East Asia, South America, riding Route 101, the summer on a Greek Island, see the pyramids, learn to dive in the Maldives, visit Hawaii, sail across the Atlantic, tour Europe in a camper, etc etc and all the time being paid for it. ( I know I sound like a TikTokker or Influencer, but....)

If you are not careful, you'll land another job and the next 6 month break you get you'll be 67 and already knackered.

Got to put a bright face on a Friday.
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  #32  
Old 18.06.2021, 09:10
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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Really sorry to hear about your situation timetogo. It sucks...been there, seen it, done it.

...you can ask for your money to be paid into a Vested Benefits Account (Freizügigkeitskonto). As you are moving abroad and will want to get at your money, I recommend parking it at an institution based in Schwyz (I can recommend the Schwyzer Kantonalbank). The reason for this is that Schwyz is the Kanton that charges the lowest tax at source for payments abroad and you will not be taxed in the UK on your pension capital payout as per the Double Taxation agreement between Switzerland and the UK.
Thanks, I was given a pension form that said about transferring it to a "Freizügigkeitskonto" so penny has dropped :-) Thanks for the specific recommendation; will check it out.

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Your pension at the company will be divided into two parts: the mandatory part (BVG) and the amount above that. You will only be able to withdraw the mandatory part once you have reached retirement age, which in Switzerland could be 60 with early retirement.
Dumb question... how will they find me if I decide to leave Switzerland? Will they go through the "Freizügigkeitskonto" I use to trace me or????

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If you are considering staying put and looking for something else here then you register with your unemployment office (RAV), even if you are on Garden Leave. Basically they need to be informed as soon as you know that you have been terminated and you will need to start looking for jobs. But, after a waiting period of 30 days after your employment ends you will be entitled to unemployment benefits.
I need to look into this more.... and I know there are million threads on it so will check but in short, if my "effective date of termination" is 31st December does that mean even if I register now I will not get any payment until end January 2022? I mean that sounds fair enough.... just checking as I am reluctant to start too many balls rolling right now.... still in a bit of a panic
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  #33  
Old 18.06.2021, 10:04
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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If you were have the right to continue to remain in the employers pension fund and its insured benefits, and to benefit from interest attributed to your pension savings - like any other employee.
Yes, that is an option now. However, I have done far better with a vested benefit account and investing the money than I would have done had I remained in the company pension fund (which wasn't an option for me). So remaining in the plan is not necessarily the best option.

Also, if OP did move back to the UK, the tax at source would be based on where the company pension fund is based and that could represent several percentage points of negative difference to an account located in Schwyz.

Last edited by Snoopy; 18.06.2021 at 14:19. Reason: fixed typo
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  #34  
Old 18.06.2021, 10:08
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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Dumb question... how will they find me if I decide to leave Switzerland? Will they go through the "Freizügigkeitskonto" I use to trace me or????
How will who find you??

All your pension money will be transferred to the Freizügigkeits account. But your pension fund will tell the place where they transfer the money to what the split is "so many CHF" BVG and so many "excess". It is then the institution's responsibility to watch what you withdraw when.

And, as it is your money, I suggest you let the FZ people know what your latest address is!
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  #35  
Old 18.06.2021, 10:24
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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The 10 or so termination agreements I have reviewed all contained a clause stipulating the person should remain available to perform work duties, should they be asked to. They also contained clauses restricting what the person could do, pertaining to things like undertaking other work, during the garden leave, so the person was not free to make whatever plans they'd like.

OP your agreement is your North Star on this important point. Don't be swayed by well-intentioned opinions (mine neither, it goes without saying), when you can simply check the legal terms. We haven't seen your agreement.
If you are "freigestellt" then you are released from any obligations, but it should specify in the agreement that nothing more will be expected of you. This being said, they may also say that you have to make best efforts to find a job sooner (before your termination date) and that they will cease to pay you (or only pay the difference) if you find something in the meantime.
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  #36  
Old 18.06.2021, 14:32
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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If I redirect the post I guess I still need to keep renting the flat... that may still just about work out better financially... 6 months rent (Sept to March) is less than the 3 months salary (Sept to Dec)
You do not need to continue renting the apartment to get mail redirected. We used the mail redirection service for a year after moving and it worked perfectly. They separate the mail for named individuals and forward it on -- you pay for each name you specify.
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  #37  
Old 18.06.2021, 15:03
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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Does all the above sound "reasonable" by the ex-employer? I know it's just opinions on a forum and not legal advice... just curious
It's not the most generous Swiss redundancy package I've seen, but it's not bad. You're being treated fairly in terms of bonus and holiday payout, and you get the gardening leave to buy you a little breathing time until December -- so you've got six months to look for a job before falling back on the RAV.

Did they offer you any severance, or just the gardening leave?

I know it doesn't feel like it right now, but having gone through a restructuring and having many colleagues alongside me go through the same thing, many look back on it now as a positive thing. They got a break, they got a cash lump sum, and most found themselves in jobs that they find more fulfilling than what they left. It doesn't feel like it when you're in the middle of it, but in hindsight, it can be the impetus for change for the better.
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  #38  
Old 18.06.2021, 15:11
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

It really sounds like this will work out OK for you, if you're on your own, enjoy some weeks away having fun and then focus on what you want and need to do when you get back.

For your head, see this as an opportunity and not something negative.

What's your field of expertise? It's still not clear whether you want to go to the UK or that was something that you felt necessary. The job market here is not an alien
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  #39  
Old 18.06.2021, 15:13
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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That sorts out any issues with B permit, allows me to stay on gardening leave and still allows me easy way to leave Switzerland if needed.
You have 6 months remaining on the contract. Although you know it is going at the end of 6 months, the Immigrationsamt does not really need to know that. For what they (need to) know you are still on the company payroll.

On the other hand on Monday the 3rd of jan'22 when you will register at your local RAV, they will need to know, they will ask if you have looked for a new job during the garden leave, you better be ready with the Arbeitsbemühungen forms filled in: they cannot check them, but it is better to be proactive rather than reactive.

Anyhow: you have 6 months to observe the world, either out of curiosity or out of interest to check where you will fit, that's g-r-e-a-t ! And enjoy the swiss summer for me as well!
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Old 18.06.2021, 15:38
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Re: Sacked as an Expat....now what?

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On the other hand on Monday the 3rd of jan'22 when you will register at your local RAV,
I wouldn't wait until the last minute. I would do it in December already. That will ensure all the paperwork is in place so that he can start getting money immediately it is due, rather than mucking around with the paperwork later.

Also, OP must make sure that he has started looking for another job immediately he knew he was being terminated and keep all the necessary back up.
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