Objection to Company Transfer & Resignation

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My current German employer is selling our team (soft-merger) to another company in the US, and we have been issued a notice of transfer, which we must officially object to in case we would not like to be part of this -not that we have a *real* choice to do that. The current company will continue to exist in its legal form and everything and even develop some SW for the next couple of months, followed by a potential ramp down.

 

On the other hand, I have a 2-week termination notice per my current contract and do intend to resign with the last working day at the end of May. My question is (1) if I should resign now and object to transfer? OR (2) Do not object and resign on the 15th of May from the new company?

For (1) above, the worry being that *advance* resign now could mean they just let me go in 2 weeks, even though I state in my resignation that the last working day would be end May.

For (2) above, the worry being that I am not allowed to resign after transfer due to some crazy legal small print.

 

Please suggest.

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Your contract conditions will be transferred to the new company and if they want to change them then you could object the changes and end your contract.  I don't think you could resign "in advance" because you would be resigning from a contract if does not yet exist, but this is too complicated and you should ask a lawyer if you really want to be sure.

 

Have you been there working for long?  You might as well consider if the new company would offer a retrenchment compensation package when they close down, but for that you might have to wait and it sounds your dates are fixed.

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Also check the consequences regarding unemployment benefits. If you resign your claim will probably differ from being fired due to not objecting.

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how about "option 3":

you object to the transfer - and then await termination by your current German employer.

 

That way your unemployment benefits in Germany might start earlier (because the company fired you).

 

Also, does your current contract say anything about the possibility of a transfer? Did you sign a contract to be working in a specific location for this specific company, or is everything "up to them" (where you work, for whom you work)?

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Yes, Option 3 did cross my mind, however, I am afraid of the negative connotation of being fired, and somehow that biting me back later (e.g. using unemployment benefits in context of citizenship application). Do you have experience regarding this concern? If I resign now, they can obviously not respect my notice of 31.May, rather let me go after 2 weeks, which leaves me a 2.5 week gap to the next job.

Further info: I actually start a new job 01.June, so not so much gap to cover anyway. Worst-case I am without pay for 2.5 weeks, and perhaps have to pay insurance myself as well? Anything else?

 

ps. No, they cannot transfer me to wherever, although they can put me on any client. Even if they did for a month, I do not find that an issue in the worst-case

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On 4/27/2020, 3:17:49, niland said:

Yes, Option 3 did cross my mind, however, I am afraid of the negative connotation of being fired,

Your not being fired, but possibility of being made redundant. The company you work for still has the legal structure and obligations as the German employer to give you notice. Only a change of owner. Or are they pulling a fast one? 

 

I wonder if the US company realises Germany does things in a different way.

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@niland Your situation may / may not put you in the category of redundancy if that US company later decides to reorganize / merge office locations / wind down operations, functions etc. The clue I took from your post is "ramp-down". It sounds like the German company is just a holding company for a little while, then they will tear everything up and maybe make redundancies. 

 

You should therefore not resign of your own accord as you will lose any entitlements to a redundancy package, depending how the situation eventually pans out. A redundancy would mean "Betriebsbedingte Kuendigung" and there is nothing to be ashamed in that. Redundancies can be 0.5 or 1 month for every year of service. (no guarantee though)

 

*if* a redundancy comes your way, even if it was just worth your normal month's salary, you would have more in your bank account because redundancies are taxed less than normal salaries, so more netto from your brutto.

 

Regardless of your choices, if I were you I'd do some detective work to see what the US company is like. Is it a "chancer" company that has zero experience with EMEA and is looking to turn a quick buck by buying out a company? Since how long was the company buyout decided? Before covid, or as a result of covid? Is it because your DE company was about to go bankrupt (saving jobs). Right now everyone is selling and few companies are buying.

 

You need to be sure that whichever company is buying you up, will still be existing 12 months from now. If you get a feeling the US company can't pay their bills and payroll in 12 months time, you may want to jump ship anyway. 

 

Is the buying company having a good reputation with its employees? (check glassdoor, kununu etc). 

 

Be especially mindful of the exact wording in any letters they may want you to sign. If they pressurise you to sign the objection letter there and then, this is usually an indication that there is some subtext to the letter that might catch you out. 

 

You said you have a new job lined up. Have you signed (and returned) a contract with them already? Lots of evidence on social media of people who were halfway through interview process being told that due to unforeseen circumstances - corona - job no longer exists. And bear in mind any new job you start puts you back in Probezeit where last in / first out notion of shedding staff in times of crisis, pervades. Do you definitely know that your new employer WON'T immediately place you on Kurzarbeit (or worse) when you get there?

 

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On 27.4.2020, 11:06:59, Krieg said:

Your contract conditions will be transferred to the new company and if they want to change them then you could object the changes and end your contract

Yes, eventually this is what happened. Contract conditions remained the same after the transfer

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