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kiku007 30th August 2019 12:01

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Guna (Post 4647984)
It is an option given to the employee and it is a good thing for both sides. If they 'terminate', it reflects in their relieving letter and the prospect of getting another job becomes almost impossible. For the company, it becomes a hassle if someone challenges it in the court (which is rare, but one or 2 such incidents can damage the reputation of the company)

IMHO no Sir, it is not an option. It is a threat.

Relieving Letters/Service Letters are used as a weapon against employees to force them.

If the employee hasn't done anything wrong, what are they going to say in the termination letter?

Quote:

Originally Posted by GutsyGibbon (Post 4648011)
High time companies let go of this practice of relieving letter. Employees should have the right to not show up any day, and go work for someone else. Sure, there can be a "no dues certificate" that clears the employee of company property (laptop, what not), but holding an employee hostage for a good termination letter is terrible. Also, the new Employer should stop asking for this meaningless letter.

Terms like "an employment bond, accepting of resignation" remind me of slavery. In the 90s when I quit my employer to move to the US, the HR person said "congratulations on your new job, we have accepted your resignation", I remember thinking, and if you dont accept - who cares?clap:

:thumbs up

The developed world is so very different.

Along with the Service letter drama, the 3-month notice period is another thing that I detest.

Quote:

Originally Posted by selfdrive (Post 4648059)
That is one of my biggest grouses. A small severance package would only be a fraction of their expenses, but I am sure some bright spark wants to show off to their bosses how cheaply they managed to downsize. For them it is just a chop off and not a surgery; if I can use that comparison.
The other issue I have is folks benefiting from downsizing efforts. I know of people who have shown x % reduction in costs only to claim benefits such as an upgrade in the company car or unnecessary business class travel.

Absolutely. Here's another instance.

One of the APAC HR Head was dead against their North America headquartered MNC giving a severance package (Monthly pay X every year of service) to Indians. They didn't want to set a precedent and according to them, it was unnecessary. Thankfully the North American team didn't want to dilute their processes and insisted that they respect their employees equally and ensured the package rules were the same.

On a lighter note, you know what happened after people were sent out with the good severance packages? Indian HR got a skew of requests from people if they can be included in the next round! :D

busydrive 30th August 2019 15:08

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Thanks for this post. Yes the title was little intriguing initially but I can totally relate to your situation. As we move up the corporate ladder we get more vulnerable. To an organization everyone is dispensable. These days you see a trend of hiring fresh graduates at a higher salary by training them on multiple technologies and expecting them to deliver on multiple fronts. While there are cases where this fails as they lack the actual experience; most of the time this strategy works - specially in service based IT delivery organizations. A fresher can always learn new technologies faster. Its a Human thing and as we grow old we do take longer time to learn the same technology. Why will an organization pay me and not replace me with a young fresh graduate as he can most of the times write faster code and work crazy hours round the clock.

In other discipline as one catches years you are more rewarded or looked up for your experience - like being a doctor or a scientist. But if you are an engineer and unless you are in some R&D department or working on something niche - for the most of us who are working on technologies for web app development or some production management systems etc this job risk is always looming large. As a whole market isn't doing great anywhere. But yes we still live on with our dreams. You mentioned you bought a car recently and was wondering why you took that loan. But I will say it's ok as you only live once.
Best wishes to you on your new job.

sibi6613 30th August 2019 21:57

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
This was a really eye-opening thread for me. It has just been 3 months since I've started my career and I cannot imagine the effect that it will have on my life now. How does one prepare for something like this. I understand that no one can be 100% prepared. But some pointers (physical, emotional and financial) on not being caught completely off guard on D-Day would be really appreciated.

Guna 31st August 2019 00:01

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kiku007 (Post 4648224)

If the employee hasn't done anything wrong, what are they going to say in the termination letter?

One of the line that will be there in every offer letter which amounts to say'.....employment can be terminated anytime without having to provide specific reasons....". They can simply say "as part of the restructuring, the position is no more required"

TKMCE 31st August 2019 00:12

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Great that you got another job in time.

Having survived one take over and then got laid off in style I can understand how you felt going through the worrying uncertain phase.

The "doll for the daughter" stuck a chord. For me it was the "first bicycle for the son".

As mentioned I survived a takeover but even during that period the uncertainties were so high. Soon after the merger the process of "taking control" started. Junior staff were sent over from the new HQ to appraise our roles. The behaviour of some of them were so arrogant that it was difficult to retain self respect putting up with many of the taunts. But no choice but to put up with it rather than digging your own grave. And when my Head of Department in the old company was shifted out abruptly - it seemed curtains for the rest of us as well.

In the end the rest of our small team was retained but I was asked to sit through the exit interview of one staff in a related department to break the bad news (their department head having already got the boot).

Methodology was simple - Called in at zero notice- given a back dated letter to sign with the cheque for the notice pay and a good conduct letter and an experience letter. If you refused to sign, the HR representative gives a 5 minute lecture on the difference between voluntary resignation and dismissal!

I survived and stayed on for another 3 years in the merged entity. Did not have a choice... the industry I worked was in a recession and no one was making money. And I was in a specialised area of the industry although professionally qualified.


But it was not pleasant - the company I was with originally was a fast growing company but with some visionary leadership. The company which took over was big on hype but with a management style which encouraged sycophancy instead of competence.

In the end , the inevitable happened - I left before the company went officially bankrupt and folded up. However not being paid for months even before that , you could see the writing on the wall.

And it was during one of those last months (salary was about 5 months overdue by then) when my son ...all of seven years then....wanted us to buy his first bicycle. I was the main bread winner - my wife had a small job but not even enough to cover our housing loan. The expense was only a couple of thousand rupees, but obviously we had to think long and hard. But in the end we decided to go for it. I still remember the excitement on my son's face when he saw his bicycle for the first time. It was a reminder how the children are the innocent parties with all these talks of downsizing, recession, etc.

My only advice to "selfdrive" is as soon as possible try to be with your family again. For me more than the financial loss, a few hundred thousands which I can never hope to recover, it has been the loss on the personal front which hurts the most. Simply put, I have missed watching my son grow up... the last few years A 30 days annual leave still mean that there is another 335 days an year I am not around with my family. You can never compensate for that!

TKMCE 31st August 2019 00:39

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sibi6613 (Post 4648510)
This was a really eye-opening thread for me. It has just been 3 months since I've started my career and I cannot imagine the effect that it will have on my life now. How does one prepare for something like this. I understand that no one can be 100% prepared. But some pointers (physical, emotional and financial) on not being caught completely off guard on D-Day would be really appreciated.

A few I can give having gone through the same experience as the person who started this thread:

a. I have no idea what field you are in or what your qualifications are. But further education , particularly relevant to your industry does not hurt. Just make sure that they are not too narrow or are from institutions with dubious credentials. Do you research on that.

b. Keep yourself updated on your industry trends. It is so easy to neglect it. Devote a couple of hours a week of your spare time on doing that.

c. Start saving. Don't live from one pay check to the next. There are thousands of pundits who will tell you for example an LIC policy gives poor rate of returns or other fancy jargon (and may be it is true). But if you start one very early and make sure that thick or thin you keep up with the premiums, in 20 years you will have some welcome lump sum amount coming in. But you have to be determined to keep up with the premiums. Paying your credit card bills on time in full (and not minimum amount due) once you get one will also be a start on financial discipline.

d. Avoid un-necessary loans. And make sure that you take loans which you can comfortably handle. Banks do not care whether you got laid off or whether your company went bankrupt. So when it comes to the stage you are taking loans make sure that you have enough to cover a minimum of 3 months EMI. 3 doesn't mean having 6 months instead will not hurt! So do not be in a hurry to take loans immediately but don't leave it too late either - especially for housing loans.

All this does not mean that you have to start living like a hermit. Enjoy life but it is never too early to start being disciplined.

shady 31st August 2019 03:24

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by selfdrive (Post 4646003)
Around this time last year, I completed 6 years of service with my organisation.........

That was quite an enlightening post and glad that all went well for you at the end. That's the reality of working in much of the private sector. To assume that as we go up the corporate ladder we are at a greater risk of getting the pink slip would be wrong. It can happen to anyone in any stage. Expect the unexpected.
I was part of an IT company as an entry level engineer (4-5 years experience) which was split then split again and combined with another company to form a new organization. During this split and spin mess a lot of our counterparts in the US lost their jobs due to "restructuring". And soon it started in the Indian arm. I got a pink slip with lot of the junior members in tow which was quite shocking for our team. Luckily some of us were able to land jobs in different projects in same org and some outside.
Quote:

Originally Posted by selfdrive (Post 4646013)
- Family and health matter. Friends and happiness too. Nothing else does.
- For any organisation, you are completely dispensable. Keep your employers dispensable too. No point in getting attached or over committed.

Lessons learned:

Family comes first. We earn for our families, for our bread. Love what you do not your company.
Always up skill yourself by dedicating some time every week.
No point in working extra hours for your job. Top management won't care if you worked an extra day when they hand you the pink slip.
Be vigilant on the developments/changes happening in your org. 'Keep your employers dispensable.'
Always be prepared for the worst.

greenhorn 31st August 2019 04:23

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
My Industrial Relations Prof (he was the Dean at XLRI )used to tell us that if a company threatens you and asks you to resign, stand your ground and ask them to fire you.

He also said the IT industry was a legal black hole into which he did not want to get involved.

So for those in the IT industry, If you are asked to resign, is resigning the best course of action, or should you stand your ground and ask them to terminate you?

V.Narayan 31st August 2019 09:03

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by greenhorn (Post 4648575)
My Industrial Relations Prof (he was the Dean at XLRI )used to tell us that if a company threatens you and asks you to resign, stand your ground and ask them to fire you.

He also said the IT industry was a legal black hole into which he did not want to get involved.

So for those in the IT industry, If you are asked to resign, is resigning the best course of action, or should you stand your ground and ask them to terminate you?

Dear @greenhorn, I assume you are a young person in the first few years of your career. Permit me to share friendly advice from the other side. I am on the other side in both respects - (a) I was an employer; and (b) I am through with my first career.

The laws in India are archaic and designed to protect the unioinized industrial workers who are not graduates. As a consequence the procedure and practicality of terminating an employee in reality is messy, long drawn and actually hurts both sides. These laws were, in the main, made 40 to 75 years ago when our politicians and bureaucrats believed that entrepreneurs who generate GDP and create employment must be punished for these acts. These laws are so one sided in favour of the industrial employee that it actually acts as a brake on a business owner wanting to hire permanent employees.

Now a graduate employee, employed at will, is in a different position. Some of these rules do not apply to him/her making termination some what easier. There is a procedure - not as smooth as in the UK (another country of which I have some experience of on hiring and terminating) but it can be followed. IT companies choose not to follow the procedure because the numbers involved are vast, the risk of their engineers getting unionized is low and their HR departments are lazy and usually their practical knowledge of industrial relations management is weak (just my impression).

In my business, which was an engineering services one, we also followed this route - you can resign or we will terminate. Though in our case it was usually because of behavioral, integrity or performance issues. Some few did choose the termination route often as a gesture of defiance. One employee against a well oiled organization stands little chance except to end up sullying his name. Ours was a smaller industry than IT and any future employer would invariably call my HR. Those who said, okay I'll resign, got treated more kindly - some salary based on terms, a reference letter for sure and sometimes we would help him/her get a job elsewhere. Two chaps actually requested that they be allowed to come to office and (be away from home) while they were job hunting as they could not tell their families - we accommodated that.

A few after termination through due process and full compliance went to court. The way courts (do not) work in our country favours the party with more staying power. Some of those cases are now in their 20th year. To all of these we had advised - collect your dues, don't go to court it will ruin you; yet they chose to listen to political outfits that take up such cases and promise the moon.

Part on good terms always. Who will become what in 20 years you cannot tell.

A job loss is an excruciating experience especially if you are past 30 or 35 and have a family to support. Its psychological impact is never to be under estimated. Its equivalent in the business world is facing bankruptcy.

kiku007 31st August 2019 11:35

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Guna (Post 4648546)
One of the line that will be there in every offer letter which amounts to say'.....employment can be terminated anytime without having to provide specific reasons....". They can simply say "as part of the restructuring, the position is no more required"

Sorry, from my experience I don't remember ever reading anything that amounts to an Employer having the right to terminate without providing specific reasons. Maybe some companies do but I don't know.

Secondly, from what I've checked with a couple of employees who have been given redundancy packages in India, they get a service letter stating that they were employed during a certain period in a certain designation. I don't remember Service Letters detailing the reason for an employee leaving an organisation. May be some organisations do?

However, when a prospective employer asks the candidate or his previous employer on the reason for leaving the last job, is there a stigma associated with an answer, "I was let go as part of cost-cutting."? Is this stigma used as a weapon to force the employee to resign?

P.S: Until the industry and HR policies mature, I would personally recommend to part on good terms and not to burn bridges. Confrontation is not worth it. That's why I said the process is shameful in taking advantage of the employee's situation.

.HEM 31st August 2019 12:41

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Congratulations on your new job first, I think most of us would have come across this situation at-least once in our life.

Firing an employee happens in all the industries and only the mode of firing differs.

In my first Job, I started as a call center agent and moved on to become a team lead. The tussle started with my manager and it went on for some time. One fine evening the rift became more intense and I was threatened to be fired.
I did not know where I got the courage, I gave a spot resignation, forfeiting my benefits. But my MD called me to ask for the reason and wished me all the best and released my pending salary and perks:)

After 8 years in 2 more different companies, I have started my own venture and going good for the last 5 years. This Manager was my negative inspiration, I felt I should provide a good working environment for my staffs. We do not hire that easily, but once hired we do not fire anyone.

I feel the corporate do it as a strategy, because after 5 or 6 years they feel we do not match our CTC with the revenue we generate for the company and they replace us with a fresher to save their face in the annual board meeting, where only numbers speak:deadhorse

Jaguar 31st August 2019 19:12

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by V.Narayan (Post 4648606)
Permit me to share friendly advice from the other side. I am on the other side in both respects - (a) I was an employer; and (b) I am through with my first career.

The laws in India are archaic and designed to protect the unioinized industrial workers who are not graduates. As a consequence the procedure and practicality of terminating an employee in reality is messy, long drawn and actually hurts both sides.

In my business, which was an engineering services one, we also followed this route - you can resign or we will terminate.

With all due respect to your age and experience, I don't think blaming the laws is right. At the end of the day, employment is a contract. If either party wants to exit, they have an option to do so as per the agreed terms and conditions. There are many companies who do this gracefully, give adequate notice, pay a severence amount and part ways with a shake hand. I was laid off 8 years ago when the company decided to exit India operations and this is how they did it. My current organization too has a similar process. When some companies can do it, why not others?

What I have observed in my 15 years in the IT industry is that it is mostly the Indian companies, who play these dirty games, take advantage of the stigma associated with a job loss and arm twist the employees. I wonder if they would even waive off the notice period if the said employee wants to leave quickly.

To everyone working in the private sector, understand that your job is never permanant. Keep enhancing your skills and keep your finances in-order. I don't agree to the debt-free school of thought. If done properly, debt can be beneficial. Same with Credit Cards. And most importantly, prepare yourself and your near and dear ones about the eventuality so that it doesn't come as a shock. Job loss is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, unless the economy is in the middle of a recession, many companies would be willing to hire a person who is ready to join immediately instead of waiting for 3 months and then have the candidate disappear.

Samurai 31st August 2019 20:06

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaguar (Post 4648876)
With all due respect to your age and experience, I don't think blaming the laws is right. At the end of the day, employment is a contract. If either party wants to exit, they have an option to do so as per the agreed terms and conditions.

No employment contract can override state labour laws. Employer can put all kinds of fancy clauses to intimidate the employees. But it can't override the state labour law. Period.

That is why employer tries to get resignation than termination. This is the reality in India. Please don't get swayed by googled facts that are applicable to other countries.

V.Narayan is very accurate in his description of the reality. I am also an employer.

greenhorn 31st August 2019 21:13

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
My understanding is that Labour law, as it applies to other industries, does not apply to IT in most places - eg https://www.newsclick.in/exemption-i...T/ITeS-workers
In that regulatory void, what applies - is it contract law, are there any laws or bodies governing the employer-employee relationship? or are we just a nation of(mostly) IT sweatshops?

Hayek 31st August 2019 21:29

Re: My experience of getting fired!
 
Nicely written @selfdrive and courageous of you to have penned this down.

Am glad you found a new job while still on your notice period - that is certainly a rare occurrence. What you went through is something that can happen to anyone in a salaried position - and something that you must be prepared for.

Some basics that I would suggest people follow:

1) Have Life and Health insurance (apart from your employer provided policies)
2) Maintain a rainy day fund in liquid, safe investments - 6 months expenses (including EMI) is a bare minimum
3) Try and save at least 25% of your post tax salary every year - and at least 50% of any one off receipts (such as bonuses or gains on ESOPs)
4) Unless you are in your twenties, do not take personal loans or credit card debt. Car loans are also avoidable once in your 30s. Any company leased car should be fully covered with liquid investments
5) Update your CV / LinkedIn profile regularly and keep in touch with ex colleagues / clients who can help you when in need


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