Pre-emptive termination due to coronavirus and "being expensive"

15 posts in this topic

I read some other posts around termination and coronavirus, but I thought my situation was different enough to post a new topic.

 

Was recently (today) terminated by my company (Czech company but with German contract) because they are afraid what might happen in the coming months- slower sales/less revenue. So they have trimmed some management, myself included, and left my team intact. The CEO told me that he would like to scale back, and therefore cutting some management roles, also including my boss, the CRO. Reporting looked like this: Team > Me > CRO > CEO

 

The CEO also told me that he asked one of my team members (without me knowing of course) to step into my role, being responsible for my old team, and report directly to him, cutting out myself and the CRO (New structure: My replacement > CEO). I asked the CEO, that if he did see the value in having the management level, why shouldn't I just report directly to him and cut out the CRO. His reply to me was that they are preparing for reduced revenue (even though that hasn't happened yet) and that he could hire 7-8 people in Czechia for the salary of me (and maybe including the others because I don't make that much money).

 

It just feels wrong that he can do this to me legally, but maybe I'm mistaken.

 

I don't know if this can be classified as being made redundant, but in my experience, that usually requires not re-filling the position immediately afterwards. I have never had any negative reviews or any personality/operational issues.

 

Of course, I need to review my contract in more detail, but in general, should something like this be allowed? or maybe it is given the coronavirus situation? Thanks in advance.

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Yes, your situation might be a bit different, managing positions contracts might be slightly different, it is expected to be able to terminate the contract in a more simple way.   Your contract is most probably an AT (Aussertariff) contract and its conditions were negotiated directly with you when you were hired.   You will have to read what your contracts says and if there is any garden leave (Freistellung), normally there is a decent one in managing positions and check if they are fulfilling all the conditions.

 

Unfortunately I suspect your conditions are not the best because they seem to think they can save some money by getting rid of you now.   If you had six or twelve months garden leave they wouldn't be getting rid of you that early.  Again, check your contract.

 

P.S., I am not a lawyer.

 

P.P.S., it would be a good idea to get your contract checked by a lawyer if you have legal insurance.

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40 minutes ago, Krieg said:

Yes, your situation might be a bit different, managing positions contracts might be slightly different, it is expected to be able to terminate the contract in a more simple way.   Your contract is most probably an AT (Aussertariff) contract and its conditions were negotiated directly with you when you were hired.   You will have to read what your contracts says and if there is any garden leave (Freistellung), normally there is a decent one in managing positions and check if they are fulfilling all the conditions.

I though that only executive positions lacked protection. Middle or junior managers should be treated as other employees.

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I'm a little baffled to be honest.. I've never been terminated before, but I always thought having a German contract, even if it's all just statutory minimum, somehow protected you against being terminated when you've done nothing wrong... I mean, what's the difference between a US contract and a German contract, besides 1 month notice and 0-2 weeks notice?

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4 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

you can't be fired for no reason but you can be laid off.

What's the difference?

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1 minute ago, hiphapa said:

What's the difference?

 

There are laws about layoffs. The company has to make a different set of reports about it to the Arbeitsamt. The person gets certain things from the company and others from the AA.

 

Oh, and there's a job for them later.
 

 

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15 minutes ago, hiphapa said:

I'm a little baffled to be honest.. I've never been terminated before, but I always thought having a German contract, even if it's all just statutory minimum, somehow protected you against being terminated when you've done nothing wrong... I mean, what's the difference between a US contract and a German contract, besides 1 month notice and 0-2 weeks notice?

I think the main difference is that the employer needs to be able to prove that your work is no longer needed. He can´t fire you because he doesn´t like the colour of your new lipstick. He also has to give reasons why you and not somebody else was fired (e. g. because the other person has been with the company for 30 years and has 6 kids to support whereas you joined them only last year and are single with no kids).

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1 minute ago, jeba said:

why you and not somebody else was fired (e. g. because the other person has been with the company for 30 years and has 6 kids to support whereas you joined them only last year and are single with no kids).

 

Ahh, yes, the "social calculation"! I was so surprised to learn about that when I moved to Germany.

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10 minutes ago, AlexTr said:

Ahh, yes, the "social calculation"!

I think the term is "Sozialauswahl".

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1 minute ago, jeba said:

I think the term is "Sozialauswahl".

 

Yes, but this is an English speaking forum. :lol:

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14 hours ago, RenegadeFurther said:

 

How big is your company?

Around 150 people.

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17 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

I though that only executive positions lacked protection. Middle or junior managers should be treated as other employees.

 

As far as I understand he comes third in the organization chart.   The protection can't be the same as the employees at the basis, for example, how do you want to make a  Sozialauswahl if he is the only one doing the job he does?

 

Again, this is too complicated to be "solved" in a forum, if the OP really wants to know his rights he should go to a lawyer.  There are many things that can be argued.  For example, depending in the description of his job he might argue that he is willing to be "downgraded" one level and take a job as the ones below him, then a  Sozialauswahl could be needed including those below and assuming he can do the job.   But this might be affected if he had real managing tasks (not project manager, product manager, and so on that are no real managers).

 

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Following on on this post... I have been waiting to receive my formal notice in the mail (I work remote), and I have not received it so far (today is last day of March). The company emailed me notice on the 27. March.. This is important for me for a couple reasons:

  1. With appropriate notice, as per statutory requirements, last day was supposed to be 30. April
  2. I was told that because I was given notice during the financial quarter (1. Jan - 31. Mar), that I did not qualify for my quarterly bonus

If I were to be the "by the law" person, if I receive my notice in the mail on 1. April, I should then be given notice through 31. May and then I also wasn't in my notice period when the quarter ended? So then I should qualify for my bonus?

 

Last question.. is it legally possible under German Employment law to agree in your contract to not need notice in writing? or is that a guaranteed right on matter what?

 

I really hate this whole situation, but the company is playing very tough with me, and so I'm just trying to understand my rights. Thanks!

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