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About to get laid off and wondering about how it works

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Hello,

 

I've worked as an English language marketer for a German company for 14 years and it looks like my division is about to close down. We've been on kurzarbeit since the crisis began.

 

I know that normally I would be entitled to five months notice because I've worked there so long. Does this still apply if a whole section of the business has to close?  Does it mean they pay you out, or does it mean you have to keep sitting there for five months, even if there's nothing to do? What if the company can't pay it?

 

My second question is about unemployment benefits. Are they calculated based on my usual salary, or on my kurzarbeit salary, or over a whole year (so the kurzarbeit period will bring down the average).

 

Thanks in advance.

 

RGordon

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Hey! I don’t know about how much notice they need to give you, but ALG1 is calculated on your PRE-Kurzarbeit earnings (so, you do not lose money on ALG1 because you were on Kurzarbeit) 

 

good luck!

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The notice period (Kündigungsfrist) applies and it is up to the employer what to do with you during that period, they can make you work or not.  They can simply send you on garden leave (Freigestellt) so you stay at home and collect your salary.  Yes, it applies if your department is closed and you are retrenched due to operational reasons (Betriebsbedingten Kündigung).

 

If it is a big company they might or might not have to select the people who are going to be let go with a social study (Sozialauswahl), meaning that you give social points to every one in the company doing the same job, the points are based on age, years in the company and dependants, and the employees with less points are the ones that should be let go, even if they are in another department.

 

Now, if they close your whole department and there is no other people doing the same job it becomes difficult and you most probably do not have a stand.  But then most probably they will let you go with a garden leave, because in the moment they give you other assignments they will shoot themselves on their foot by proving that you can do other tasks and then you can be compared to other people doing those tasks.

 

If they are a big company they might offer you as well some money to go quietly, a decent package would be between 0.75 and 1 month per year of work and garden leave for the whole notice period.  All compensation money is heavily taxed, so think that you will lose around 1/3 in taxes.

 

During the garden leave you will still be an employee, so if they go bankrupt it will be the same as everyone else in the company.

 

If you have a worker council (Betriebsrat), check with them if they passed and agreement with them to let go your department (Interesseausgleich and Sozialplan), if there is one then the conditions of the retrenchment package would be defined there.

 

If you do not have legal insurance I recommend you to sign one and hope you are not fired during the waiting time.  Check the one you choose includes negotiation of retrenchment packages and not only the initial consultation.

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