Phone call from boss suggesting I should find a new job

66 posts in this topic

Yes I will call them tomorrow and ask what my options are

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4 hours ago, jifff said:

Yes we do have a Betriebsrate (I have since found out). My department is only about 100 people but the whole company is many thousands. I don't have legal insurance but do have personal liability insurance

I'm glad we could help you move a bit forward with this this.

However.... You may want to brush up on the old company knowledge there, you've gone from being in  company with 100 employees, to being in a department of 100 in a company of thousands.

 

Just saying, you may want to get to know your employment surroundings, my boss would not be happy if I was unaware of the 900 or so employees outside my department.

 

Good luck!

 

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Point taken there, though I did say very early on in response to a question 'The company I work for is about 100 people however we are owned by a much larger company, employing thousands'.

 

Basically we are a division of another company which is in turn owned by a very large company. But I just tried (perhaps unsuccessfully) to simplify it. Not knowing about the Betriebsrate is a tad embrassing for sure, but thanks for your comments.

 

I'm still a little unsure if I need legal cover yet but first I will talk to the Betriebsrate, get their perspective, then take the measures I think are necessary.

 

All in all bit of a crap situation but at least i'm still getting a paycheck for the time being.

 

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1 hour ago, jifff said:

I'm still a little unsure if I need legal cover yet 

 

Get it yesterday, legal insurance, because often it only covers 'future issues' from the time you sign up. A nicely worded letter from your lawyer to say 'Hi, I'm representing my client and I look forward to working with your lawyers, as necessary' can be enough of a shot across the bow. No one really wants protracted legal battles unless they are stupid or have money to burn. 

 

It may not be necessary, but you really should cover yourself.

 

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All in all bit of a crap situation but at least i'm still getting a paycheck for the time being.

 

As others said, I would settle for nothing less than 6 months or so of pay (and a very nice Arbeitszeugnis) and make sure that the paperwork says they are letting you go, not that it was your decision. It was not, and could bite you in the bum to sign such wording. They are regrettably making you redundant due to a downturn in economic situation, etc. etc. 

 

Yes, it's a crap situation. Losing a job is never fun.

 

How long have you been in Germany total?

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Don't know why people on here are telling you to accept 6 months severance pay etc.

If he asks you again just say you are very happy with your work and company and you have no intention of leaving.

You are in a very strong position and he knows it.

 

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4 hours ago, alderhill said:

Get it yesterday, legal insurance,

Make sure though that it covers labour disputes. Not all of them do (or they cover an initial consultation only). I also suspect that there will be a stipulation that cover will only start a few months after signing up.

When my brother-in-law´s company struggled following the 2008 crisis he and a lot of his colleagues agreed with their company to have their wages reduced for a limited time in exchange for being kept in employment. Maybe something to consider as well (as in short-time work, supported by Arbeitsagentur?)?

 

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10 hours ago, jifff said:

I'm still a little unsure if I need legal cover yet but first I will talk to the Betriebsrate, get their perspective, then take the measures I think are necessary.

 

It looks like you are not taking the situation seriously.  Legal insurance is not expensive, 200 to 300 EUR per year.  Going to court against your employer guessing your payment scale would be something between 2k to 4k EUR.   Even if you buy the insurance today, you will still have to wait a couple of months for it to be active (2 to 3 months) so if you are fired during this cold period you won't be covered.   Just going to a lawyer for a first consultation costs almost the same as the whole year of insurance.

 

Now about your situation, they are trying to take you for a ride.   A big company can't just say you have won the lottery and you have to go.  There are processes to choose the people who will be let go, including age, family situation and years in the company, so if you have younger colleagues with no kids you are in a good situation.   And by putting you in another projects your boss already made a "mistake", now there is proof you can do those other tasks, so when he tries to fire you they will have to compare you with all people doing similar tasks to your current and past ones.  You need as well to understand the structure of your company, if it is split in different "divisions" as you call them, or if they are different companies but working as a "Konzern".   Because this will define the scope of the people you are comparable to, in the best case scenario they will have to prove they do not have space for you in their multi-thousand employee company which might be hard.   And you are comparable to people doing similar tasks to you in your hierarchy bracket and one step lower, so depending on what you do this might be a bunch of people.

 

And on top of that, Covid-19 is not a blank card to retrench people, they will have to prove they have exhausted alternatives, like putting you in 100% Kurzarbeit.

 

If they are not offering you some good money for you to quit voluntarily, there is not really any reason why you should do it.   Probably the Workers Council has already defined how much compensation you would get if you are let go.   So, probably you just have to sit tight, tell your boss you do not have any interest in quitting, pray you are not fired in the next three months and go to a lawyer and check if it makes sense to contest your retrenchment if it happens.

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6 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

It looks like you are not taking the situation seriously.  Legal insurance is not expensive, 200 to 300 EUR per year.  Going to court against your employee guessing your payment scale would be something between 2k to 4k EUR.   Even if you buy the insurance today, you will still have to wait a couple of months for it to be active (2 to 3 months) so if you are fired during this cold period you won't be covered.   Just going to a lawyer for a first consultation costs almost the same as the whole year of insurance.

 

There are many benefits on legal insurance. Not only it covers your lawyer fees, you can use it as a defense. Many locals abuse foreign because they think they don't have legal insurance. I had such situation, the kitta owned us almost 4k€. The owner thought we would not go to court for such an amount. The moment I said we had legal insurance, his stance changed.

There is also another huge benefit: free consultation. I had a situation where I had a dispute. I asked if the insurance would cover me. They checked with their lawyers and said I had no claim, so they would not help me. Result? Paid nothing for the advice and did not proceeded with an expensive lawsuit.

BTW, I pay 250€ per year for a family of 3.

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23 minutes ago, Krieg said:

you will still have to wait a couple of months for it to be active (2 to 3 months)

 

I thought that legal insurance didn't cover existing cases when one takes it out.

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1 minute ago, fraufruit said:

 

I thought that legal insurance didn't cover existing cases when one takes it out.

 

Nothing has happened.  There is no "existing case" yet.

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1 minute ago, Krieg said:

 

Nothing has happened.  There is no "existing case" yet.

His boss called him last week and told him he should look for a new job. That will certainly come out if and when a claim is made on the legal insurance.

 

I wouldn't count on obtaining cover at this point.

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His boss is bluffing expecting he is just an uninformed foreigner.    This won't fly, except if he does something in the company that is absolutely not comparable to what any other person does (for example sales people or managers might have a more difficult time).   Even if you can do something else in the company for what you can be fast trained and it is still in the same payment scale or one below, you still can make a case.

 

The phone call from the boss means nothing.  Even giving him an official offer (Aufhebungsvertrag) might still a different case if he is later fired.  And if there were no witnesses that conversation never happened and still means nothing.

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Thanks for all the comments so far. 

Yes legal insurance was not something I had considered but after reading the feedback I can appreciate the urgency so will organize that today.

 

The online process looks fairly straight forward but if anyone has a good legal insurance suggestion then that would be appreciated.

 

At the moment my company has a policy of not renewing befristet/limited contracts, so about 10 or so people have been let go. Nobody has yet been fired or made redundant with a unbefristet/unlimited contract like mine, so this case would be the first.

 

I have not been formally fired, but my boss suggested I look elsewhere as he would prefer it if I left (to save the company money). I will call him again this week to clarify the situation and make sure I understood everything correctly (he only speaks German to me). The conversation was quite informal, we spoke for about 30m minutes and nothing was set in stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, jifff said:

Thanks for all the comments so far. 

Yes legal insurance was not something I had considered but after reading the feedback I can appreciate the urgency so will organize that today.

 

The online process looks fairly straight forward but if anyone has a good legal insurance suggestion then that would be appreciated.

 

 

I use DEURAG and we are satisfied with it.   I chose that one for two reasons:  It covers not only if you are fired, but as well negotiations of leaving under mutual agreement.   And because they only sell legal insurance.   Some people think you should not buy legal insurance from the same company you have other insurances with, you know, in case you have to sue your insurance company.

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4 minutes ago, jifff said:

Thanks for all the comments so far. 

Yes legal insurance was not something I had considered but after reading the feedback I can appreciate the urgency so will organize that today.

 

The online process looks fairly straight forward but if anyone has a good legal insurance suggestion then that would be appreciated.

 

At the moment my company has a policy of not renewing befristet/limited contracts, so about 10 or so people have been let go. Nobody has yet been fired or made redundant with a unbefristet/unlimited contract like mine, so this case would be the first.

 

I have not been formally fired, but my boss suggested I look elsewhere as he would prefer it if I left (to save the company money). I will call him again this week to clarify the situation and make sure I understood everything correctly (he only speaks German to me). The conversation was quite informal, we spoke for about 30m minutes and nothing was set in stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organize legal insurance first.

 

I can't say if Jeffo is correct, would the phone call count as the start of all this, but in case it doesn't (nothing has been done it writing yet, right?), organize the insurance first. Even if you cannot use it for this, you will have it in the future.

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1 minute ago, jifff said:

Thanks for all the comments so far. 

Yes legal insurance was not something I had considered but after reading the feedback I can appreciate the urgency so will organize that today.

 

The online process looks fairly straight forward but if anyone has a good legal insurance suggestion then that would be appreciated.

 

At the moment my company has a policy of not renewing befristet/limited contracts, so about 10 or so people have been let go. Nobody has yet been fired or made redundant with a unbefristet/unlimited contract like mine, so this case would be the first.

 

I have not been formally fired, but my boss suggested I look elsewhere as he would prefer it if I left (to save the company money). I will call him again this week to clarify the situation and make sure I understood everything correctly (he only speaks German to me). The conversation was quite informal, we spoke for about 30m minutes and nothing was set in stone.

Please, do not speak to him until you have spoken to a lawyer or the union and preferably have them tell you exactly what to say since saying the wrong thing will most likely negate your legal insurance, and could also give the impression that you are agreeing to leave, which IF they could get rid of you would result in a much lower compensation package. If you say anything to him, just tell him that you are very happy working for the company and have no intention of leaving. 

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16 minutes ago, cb6dba said:

Organize legal insurance first.

 

I can't say if Jeffo is correct, would the phone call count as the start of all this, but in case it doesn't (nothing has been done it writing yet, right?), organize the insurance first. Even if you cannot use it for this, you will have it in the future.

 

If he makes a claim on his legal insurance mere days or weeks after the cool-off period expires, it's highly likely the company will research the history. 

 

They're an insurance company, after all. They're there to deny claims, not pay them.

 

But yes, legal insurance is always good to have, even if it doesn't help in this case.

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5 hours ago, RAMBO said:

Don't know why people on here are telling you to accept 6 months severance pay etc.

If he asks you again just say you are very happy with your work and company and you have no intention of leaving.

You are in a very strong position and he knows it.

 

That's certainly an option OP should weigh, but I think most of us are assuming that OP kind of agrees he/she should go. If you're overqualified and bored, that is only worth the security for so long. Perhaps until corona has an end in sight.

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let's recap:

Boss calls employee after hours to tell him/her to "start looking for a new job", because boss wants to "save money for the company". Also boss wants to blow sugar up some big-shot's a**.

 

Employee has two options: 

1. say "yessir" 
2. say "lol"

 

I'd pick option 2 - and then say nothing more without proper legal counsil.

 

BTW - in Germany, unless employee screwed up somewhere big time,  boss/company can't get rid of employee (with "unbefristeter Arbeitsvertrag") quite as easily.

 

I also don't buy into this "overqualified and bored" as reason to leave a well paying, secure job that feeds a family. I've personally been in that position in every job I ever held after about two/three years of doing it. 

To me being "overqualified" means I have more than enough knowledge about the job, to be comfortably doing it with routine and precision.
And being "bored" means I don't have to deal with stressful surprises on a daily basis, so that I can sleep at night and pursue the many interests I have in my personal life outside of the job with full energy.

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