Is it possible to get terminated on a corporate job because of Corona-related losses?

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I'm working at a media agency as a fulltime designer. The past couple of weeks I haven't really gotten any significant task even if I sign in - my job is very reactive in the sense that when a project comes, I usually have to turnover things quickly. I don't know if this continues in the next few weeks/months and if that would be grounds for termination.

 

My question is - currently as a permanent employee, is there a possibility for the company to get me sacked if they think that my position is non-essential at the moment? Would I be getting any severance if ever? (Also I have a 3 month clause in my contract should they terminate me, would that still apply given the whole corona situation?)

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They might apply first for Kurzarbeit, so your hours are reduced and so is your salary, but the government pays part of your salary so the company doesn't tank yet and they have more chances to survive.  They might send you home and you do not have to work at all if there are no tasks for you, but you might still be under the Kurzarbeit program.

 

But if things get really bad, yes, they could terminate your contract.  Severances are a bit grim in Germany, but you might get something, but the situation is critical, it they tank there is no money to pay you anything anyway.

 

Check if that three months clause works in BOTH ways, or only in one way.  If the contract is in German the keyword is Kundigungsfrist

 

If it is a big company/corporation that might survive the crisis I would advise you to take lawyer insurance if you do not have one yet.

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5 minutes ago, Krieg said:

I would advise you to take lawyer insurance if you do not have one yet.

Make sure though that you pick one which covers labour law. Not all of them do.

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@krieg thanks so much for that - I am currently working for a small company, and although I think the company might still stay afloat I'm just considering my options. I'm sure that they will keep the other tech guys but since design is more on a request-basis I'm afraid of the possibility of getting terminated.

 

My contract (in english states): § (1) Notification Periods - After the probationary period both parties may terminate this Employment Agreement by giving three months notice with effect to the end of a calendar month. (2) Notifications shall be in written form to be valid. (3) The Company shall have the right – while having to pay the contractual remuneration to employee – to discharge Employee for the time between notification and the effective termination, unless Employee can claim a predominant legitimate interest to be engaged in the operational procedures.

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I am not a lawyer, but the termination period seem OK for both sides.   Smaller companies have more relaxed rules about terminating employees.   The good news is that the government will bail some of those small companies with cash that doesn't need to be paid back, at least for the short and mid term.  So maybe your company would be one of them.

 

If you signed as well a German contract then that's the one you have to refer to, the English version normally doesn't hold in court if there is a German version.

 

You might ask your boss if they are considering Kurzarbeit.   The company can as well apply for Kurzarbeit for some departments.

 

P.S., If the bosses are asking the employees to make sure they get rid of all holidays from 2019 soon it might indicate they will apply for Kurzarbeit soon.   You are not allowed to do Kurzarbeit if you have a holidays backlog.

 

Again, I am not a lawyer.

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10 minutes ago, Krieg said:

P.S., If the bosses are asking the employees to make sure they get rid of all holidays from 2019 soon it might indicate they will apply for Kurzarbeit soon.   You are not allowed to do Kurzarbeit if you have a holidays backlog.

 

Again, I am not a lawyer.

 

I'm not a lawyer either but my boss has just announced kurzarbeit so I watched a couple of youtube videos about corona and kurzarbeit last night and apparently due to corona, they have decided to lift the requirement that employees must use up vacation and overtime before being allowed to do kurzarbeit.

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1 minute ago, LeonG said:

they have decided to lift the requirement that employees must use up vacation and overtime before being allowed to do kurzarbeit.

 

Notice I was talking about holidays from 2019, not from the current fiscal year.  Which in most cases can be carried over only until the end of March or April anyway.

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Even the really big ones are worried about the situation, because of all smaller ones who are customers and who are in danger. 

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8 minutes ago, black1 said:

Even the really big ones are worried about the situation

 

Companies have been running at borderline-dangerous optimization levels since long time ago because that's what the Free Markets taught us to do, but Free Markets do not consider abnormalities in the world.   Plenty of companies have been running with extremely low cash flow and even in negative cash flow, for years and years.   Now we are slowly realizing that might be a huge mistake, plenty of companies at the moment can't even guarantee the payroll for a couple of months, even big companies that we thought they were rock solid.

 

If things go south, the irony is that China and the emerging economies (nice way to call the third world countries that are not completely f-ed up) might be the ones that would come afloat better.

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1 hour ago, Krieg said:

I am not a lawyer, but the termination period seem OK for both sides.   Smaller companies have more relaxed rules about terminating employees.   The good news is that the government will bail some of those small companies with cash that doesn't need to be paid back, at least for the short and mid term.  So maybe your company would be one of them.

 

If you signed as well a German contract then that's the one you have to refer to, the English version normally doesn't hold in court if there is a German version.

 

You might ask your boss if they are considering Kurzarbeit.   The company can as well apply for Kurzarbeit for some departments.

 

P.S., If the bosses are asking the employees to make sure they get rid of all holidays from 2019 soon it might indicate they will apply for Kurzarbeit soon.   You are not allowed to do Kurzarbeit if you have a holidays backlog.

 

Again, I am not a lawyer.

 

my contract states the same in german I think:

 

"§ 10 Kündigung
Die Kündigungsfrist beträgt drei Monate zum Ende eines Kalendermonats. Jede gesetzliche Verlängerung der Kündigungsfrist zugunsten des Arbeitnehmers gilt in gleicher Weise auch zugunsten des Arbeitgebers. Die Kündigung bedarf der Schriftform. Vor Antritt des Arbeitsverhältnisses ist die Kündigung ausgeschlossen.
Der Arbeitgeber ist berechtigt, den Arbeitnehmer bis zur Beendigung des Arbeitsverhältnisses freizustellen. Die Freistellung erfolgt unter Anrechnung der dem Arbeitnehmer eventuell noch zustehenden Urlaubsansprüche sowie eventueller Guthaben auf dem Arbeitszeitkonto. In der Zeit der Freistellung hat sich der Arbeitnehmer einen durch Verwendung seiner Arbeitskraft erzielten Verdienst auf den Vergütungsanspruch gegenüber dem Arbeitgeber anrechnen zu lassen."

 

as for the holidays they asked us to consume it already. I dunno if they're considering kurzarbeit, but I guess I will take that over being unemployed any day

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You might want to google "betriebsbedingte Kündigung". Good luck!

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