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Unemployment sanctions - any experience?

We're trying to gather experience and would appreciate your input to understand  what kind of unemployment sanctions exist in Geneva and if opposition makes sense.


Did you have any experience and what was the outcome? You can also send me a PM in case.


 

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We're trying to gather experience and would appreciate your input to understand  what kind of unemployment sanctions exist in Geneva and if opposition makes sense.


Did you have any experience and what was the outcome? You can also send me a PM in case.


 


renaNov 1, 2019 @ 11:47
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 1

What do you mean by "unemployment sanctions"?


 

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What do you mean by "unemployment sanctions"?


 


Nir Ofek, Nov 1, 2019 @ 15:54
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Post 2

Do you talk about sanctions done by OCE 'Office de l'emploi" ?


If it is the case, yes oppostion make sense. The better things to do is to talk with this association https://adc-ge.ch


They help people for free.

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Do you talk about sanctions done by OCE 'Office de l'emploi" ?


If it is the case, yes oppostion make sense. The better things to do is to talk with this association https://adc-ge.ch


They help people for free.


alessandro c, Nov 1, 2019 @ 16:02
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 3

You are right - sanctions done by OCE 'Office de l'emploi".


I'd like to understand if some unpleasant experiences are just random or more and more sad reality when you are unemployed and "sponsored" by OCE  Geneva:


E.g. payment of unemployment benefits is refused if you didn't apply for a job opportunity handed over by the OCE (even if the profile doesn't fit with your CV), penalty if you hand over your job searches too late etc.


 


 

The text you are quoting:

You are right - sanctions done by OCE 'Office de l'emploi".


I'd like to understand if some unpleasant experiences are just random or more and more sad reality when you are unemployed and "sponsored" by OCE  Geneva:


E.g. payment of unemployment benefits is refused if you didn't apply for a job opportunity handed over by the OCE (even if the profile doesn't fit with your CV), penalty if you hand over your job searches too late etc.


 


 


rena, Nov 1, 2019 @ 21:18
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 4

To cut a long story short, the OCE do not play!! I'm reply on behalf of a friend who I'm having lunch with now. He had sever sanctions for not attending shedul meetings alb for good reasons! One wasissed so he good go to an interview that was organised last minute! Another was due to the flu and he didn't get a doctors note. 
His advice is no matter what make sure you meet all the requirements! Even if it means showing up half dead or reorganising an intervie. After writing to dispute the sanctions they replied highlightMing their zero tolerance policy. The end! He was massively out of pocket and got into ffinancial ruin as a result. 

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To cut a long story short, the OCE do not play!! I'm reply on behalf of a friend who I'm having lunch with now. He had sever sanctions for not attending shedul meetings alb for good reasons! One wasissed so he good go to an interview that was organised last minute! Another was due to the flu and he didn't get a doctors note. 
His advice is no matter what make sure you meet all the requirements! Even if it means showing up half dead or reorganising an intervie. After writing to dispute the sanctions they replied highlightMing their zero tolerance policy. The end! He was massively out of pocket and got into ffinancial ruin as a result. 


Angie S, Nov 2, 2019 @ 12:40
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 5

Sounds to me like your friend doesn't know how to manage his affairs. If he has an interview with OCE and he can't show up due to sickness, the most basic thing to do it alert OCE before hand, and then present them with a doctor's note. 

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Sounds to me like your friend doesn't know how to manage his affairs. If he has an interview with OCE and he can't show up due to sickness, the most basic thing to do it alert OCE before hand, and then present them with a doctor's note. 


Nir Ofek, Nov 2, 2019 @ 12:47
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Post 6

As I mentioned I sunemrized his story, but you need to to more than alerting the OCE which he did. His counceler accepted it but it's out of the councelers hands, they share their notes to another team that decides on sanctions. They have strict rules, like if you're sick you need a note dated the day of your meeting. A point that's not widely publicised to void people scamming the system. 


@Nir, Instead of judging based on a very small slice of a story I think its best to use his experience as a lesson to those new to the OCE system. The reality is, life happens...especially with children in play. The main lesson is that if you want to get paid chômage abide by all the rules at all costs.


 


I hope this posts helps others!

The text you are quoting:

As I mentioned I sunemrized his story, but you need to to more than alerting the OCE which he did. His counceler accepted it but it's out of the councelers hands, they share their notes to another team that decides on sanctions. They have strict rules, like if you're sick you need a note dated the day of your meeting. A point that's not widely publicised to void people scamming the system. 


@Nir, Instead of judging based on a very small slice of a story I think its best to use his experience as a lesson to those new to the OCE system. The reality is, life happens...especially with children in play. The main lesson is that if you want to get paid chômage abide by all the rules at all costs.


 


I hope this posts helps others!


Angie S, Nov 2, 2019 @ 15:20
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 7

Sounds to me like your friend doesn't know how to manage his affairs. If he has an interview with OCE and he can't show up due to sickness, the most basic thing to do it alert OCE before hand, and then present them with a doctor's note. 


Nov 2, 19 12:47

This may be a justified case. But it is well known that, depending on your counselor, they do whatever they can to avoid paying, and sometimes they are picky about really stupid things. Like, if I am unemployed and have no income, maybe it's just stupid to pay 100-200 CHF to go to the doctor for a simple cold, just to get a justification letter: it makes no sense. This is just an example. Or be forced to make applications for jobs that have nothing to do with your background and experience. It's a waste of time for everybody.


Or when you are announced from one day to the next that your full-time job is becoming now only 60% ... In this real case, when my friend tried to get payed for "partial unemployement" she did not receive a single franc. They argued that she should have started looking for a 40% job to complete her income two months before the reduction ... how is that possible when it was announced from one day to the next? So, voila, two months penalty ... in the end she found another job before seeing a single franc from the unemployement subsidy. (This case is about Lausanne, not Geneva ... but it looks like it is more or less the same in every canton ... and a lot depends on the unemployement counselor that you get assigned. Some are more reasonable than others)

The text you are quoting:

This may be a justified case. But it is well known that, depending on your counselor, they do whatever they can to avoid paying, and sometimes they are picky about really stupid things. Like, if I am unemployed and have no income, maybe it's just stupid to pay 100-200 CHF to go to the doctor for a simple cold, just to get a justification letter: it makes no sense. This is just an example. Or be forced to make applications for jobs that have nothing to do with your background and experience. It's a waste of time for everybody.


Or when you are announced from one day to the next that your full-time job is becoming now only 60% ... In this real case, when my friend tried to get payed for "partial unemployement" she did not receive a single franc. They argued that she should have started looking for a 40% job to complete her income two months before the reduction ... how is that possible when it was announced from one day to the next? So, voila, two months penalty ... in the end she found another job before seeing a single franc from the unemployement subsidy. (This case is about Lausanne, not Geneva ... but it looks like it is more or less the same in every canton ... and a lot depends on the unemployement counselor that you get assigned. Some are more reasonable than others)


ajimenezp, Nov 2, 2019 @ 15:27
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 8

if you are not a hostile person, who tries to find 1000 excuses and actually stick to appointment every 2-months, and look for 10 jobs per month, you will have no problems.
I've resigned due to burnout, and of course, as it was a spontaneous non-planned thing, I've first resigned and then went to a doctor to get a certificate. And due to this, I was penalized, but they shorted it down to a month and half instead of 3 months, as they saw that I genuinely resigned, and I didn't try to contest at all this decision but instead said that I was aware of the sanction, and I was ready to receive it, and I understood their decision.

The text you are quoting:

if you are not a hostile person, who tries to find 1000 excuses and actually stick to appointment every 2-months, and look for 10 jobs per month, you will have no problems.
I've resigned due to burnout, and of course, as it was a spontaneous non-planned thing, I've first resigned and then went to a doctor to get a certificate. And due to this, I was penalized, but they shorted it down to a month and half instead of 3 months, as they saw that I genuinely resigned, and I didn't try to contest at all this decision but instead said that I was aware of the sanction, and I was ready to receive it, and I understood their decision.


daniel f, Nov 17, 2019 @ 16:59
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Post 9

As someone with previous chomage experience of 14 months, I feel  a rather hefty sense of entitlement in some of these posts.


Unemployment Insurance (chomage) is a benefit - not an entitlement. 


75% of the 150 million unemployed receive no benefit whatsoever, according to a report from the International Labour Organisation, who also quote Switzerland as providing one of the most generous systems, worldwide.


Yes, the rules are strict and you have to work hard for your benefit.  However, unlike in life, you're given all the rules of the game in advance (as I found out to my cost)  and it's made quite clear what the penalties will be if you break the rules or you don't play their game they way they tell you to.  


If you have a problem with any of that, then I suggest you take your bat and ball and go play somewhere else.

The text you are quoting:

As someone with previous chomage experience of 14 months, I feel  a rather hefty sense of entitlement in some of these posts.


Unemployment Insurance (chomage) is a benefit - not an entitlement. 


75% of the 150 million unemployed receive no benefit whatsoever, according to a report from the International Labour Organisation, who also quote Switzerland as providing one of the most generous systems, worldwide.


Yes, the rules are strict and you have to work hard for your benefit.  However, unlike in life, you're given all the rules of the game in advance (as I found out to my cost)  and it's made quite clear what the penalties will be if you break the rules or you don't play their game they way they tell you to.  


If you have a problem with any of that, then I suggest you take your bat and ball and go play somewhere else.


Carolyn C, Nov 20, 2019 @ 15:00
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Post 10

Currently unemployed (since last year),I do agree with someone above who says a lot depends on who your ORP advisor is.Some are human and understand that we are too - others are more bureaucratic and seem to forget that they are dealing with human beings ( who might be not coping so well with the situation of losing their jobs ,and might not be so well placed in the job market for finding a new post - both of which can make the situation rather stressful)


If you do not have a human advisor at the ORP and you encounter real problems or feel you are being unjustly treated,I agree with Alessandro C  above who mentioned the organisation that advises people on their rights.


Luckily,there are some people who volunteer their time and energy to help people whose experience of being unemployed does not go smoothly - and who maybe are not robust enough to deal with it all by themselves.

The text you are quoting:

Currently unemployed (since last year),I do agree with someone above who says a lot depends on who your ORP advisor is.Some are human and understand that we are too - others are more bureaucratic and seem to forget that they are dealing with human beings ( who might be not coping so well with the situation of losing their jobs ,and might not be so well placed in the job market for finding a new post - both of which can make the situation rather stressful)


If you do not have a human advisor at the ORP and you encounter real problems or feel you are being unjustly treated,I agree with Alessandro C  above who mentioned the organisation that advises people on their rights.


Luckily,there are some people who volunteer their time and energy to help people whose experience of being unemployed does not go smoothly - and who maybe are not robust enough to deal with it all by themselves.


buzzcocks, Nov 20, 2019 @ 18:31
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 11

Currently unemployed (since last year),I do agree with someone above who says a lot depends on who your ORP advisor is.Some are human and understand that we are too - others are more bureaucratic and seem to forget that they are dealing with human beings ( who might be not coping so well with the situation of losing their jobs ,and might not be so well placed in the job market for finding a new post - both of which can make the situation rather stressful)

If you do not have a human advisor at the ORP and you encounter real problems or feel you are being unjustly treated,I agree with Alessandro C  above who mentioned the organisation that advises people on their rights.

Luckily,there are some people who volunteer their time and energy to help people whose experience of being unemployed does not go smoothly - and who maybe are not robust enough to deal with it all by themselves.


Nov 20, 19 18:31

Well said

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Well said


Nir Ofek, Nov 20, 2019 @ 18:54
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 12

I agree with you. It's basic common sense that you need a doctor's note confirming you were sick on that date. Same for an interview. You can ask for an email confirming the appointement on a given time and date. Come on, that's obvious. 

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I agree with you. It's basic common sense that you need a doctor's note confirming you were sick on that date. Same for an interview. You can ask for an email confirming the appointement on a given time and date. Come on, that's obvious. 


Octavio A, Nov 21, 2019 @ 21:50
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Post 13

You are right Octavio , in such straightforward situations, there isn’t really much to argue about.


Some of the difficulties people have with the Unemployment Office , however,involve far more complex situations which are not so black and white.These are the ones where unemployed people ( like me :-) who are not dishonest or trying to defraud anyone can run into difficulty . And those are the sutuations where one needs to be informed about one’s rights and maybe get some support in dealing with the authorities.

The text you are quoting:

You are right Octavio , in such straightforward situations, there isn’t really much to argue about.


Some of the difficulties people have with the Unemployment Office , however,involve far more complex situations which are not so black and white.These are the ones where unemployed people ( like me :-) who are not dishonest or trying to defraud anyone can run into difficulty . And those are the sutuations where one needs to be informed about one’s rights and maybe get some support in dealing with the authorities.


buzzcocks, Nov 21, 2019 @ 22:22
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Post 14

You’re also right; the Unemployment Office is known to be extremely picky about small bureaucratic details, sometimes hurting people who are clearly in good faith. Been there, done that... 

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You’re also right; the Unemployment Office is known to be extremely picky about small bureaucratic details, sometimes hurting people who are clearly in good faith. Been there, done that... 


Octavio A, Nov 22, 2019 @ 08:06
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Post 15

> according to a report from the International Labour Organisation, who also quote Switzerland as providing one of the most generous systems, worldwide.


On the other hand, workers in Switzerland have practically zero protection against mobbing, discrimination, abusive firing, and salary dumping, while enjoying the smallest number of annual leave days (holidays) in Europe. Also, in order to get unemployment benefits you must have earned them by paying taxes for at least 1 year. Given this, I don't see the Swiss system as outrageously generous to the citizen.     

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> according to a report from the International Labour Organisation, who also quote Switzerland as providing one of the most generous systems, worldwide.


On the other hand, workers in Switzerland have practically zero protection against mobbing, discrimination, abusive firing, and salary dumping, while enjoying the smallest number of annual leave days (holidays) in Europe. Also, in order to get unemployment benefits you must have earned them by paying taxes for at least 1 year. Given this, I don't see the Swiss system as outrageously generous to the citizen.     


TheOmegaMan, Nov 24, 2019 @ 11:51
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Post 16

That’s a good point. It was quite a shock - seriously - to discover how little protection workers have in Switzerland.

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That’s a good point. It was quite a shock - seriously - to discover how little protection workers have in Switzerland.


buzzcocks, Nov 24, 2019 @ 12:09
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Post 17

Totally agree with Omega Man's post.


I my previous position at the World Health Organization, I witnessed my office-mate being mobbed (verbally harrassed) every single day. She was frightened that if she complained her short-term contract (renewable every 3 months) would not be renewed! She finally gathered enough courage to press charges and despite my testimony her contract was not extended! 

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Totally agree with Omega Man's post.


I my previous position at the World Health Organization, I witnessed my office-mate being mobbed (verbally harrassed) every single day. She was frightened that if she complained her short-term contract (renewable every 3 months) would not be renewed! She finally gathered enough courage to press charges and despite my testimony her contract was not extended! 


Karin E, Nov 24, 2019 @ 14:58
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Post 18

> according to a report from the International Labour Organisation, who also quote Switzerland as providing one of the most generous systems, worldwide.

On the other hand, workers in Switzerland have practically zero protection against mobbing, discrimination, abusive firing, and salary dumping, while enjoying the smallest number of annual leave days (holidays) in Europe. Also, in order to get unemployment benefits you must have earned them by paying taxes for at least 1 year. Given this, I don't see the Swiss system as outrageously generous to the citizen.     


Nov 24, 19 11:51

Dear Omega Man


A few fact checks, if I may for the benefit of those who believe opinions to be facts.


Your re-quote refers to the "generous system" which pays out when on unemployment benefit (chomage).  If are not aware and/or lucky enough never to have had to claim, you would receive (as a single person) a monthly amount which is calculated at 70% of your last annual salary, including 70% of all bonuses and benefits you received in your last year of work up to a ceiling of CHF10,000 per month.


Yes, you have to have paid your taxes for 1 year.  How else do you think the money gets into the pot?


Compared with the £316.00 per month "job seekers allowane) in the UK, I would say that's generous.


In the UK you also need to have paid sufficient income tax (national insurance contributions) in order to get any unemployment allowance, however this can be refused/zeroed, if you have savings or financial assets over £16,000 (I know this from experience when I was expected to sell my apartment in London before being eligible for benefit). 


In Switzerland your chomage payments are not penalised by your financial situation (I know this also to be true as they ignored my very generous redundancy payout from Nestle when calculating my chomage).


In the case of harassment or any other issues in the workplace, UNIA is the largest trade union in Switzerland and is available to anyone for a membership fee of CHF40 per year.   (I also know this to be true because I had to join in order to settle a very unfair work situation).  They will give legal protection, advice and counselling on any employment issue.  Sometimes just mentioning "I'm getting UNIA involved" solves the problem.


With regard to holidays - I actually clicked on your link and you are incorrect with your quote that Switzerland has the "smallest number of annual leave days (holidays) in Europe".  


Looking at the table you provided and with the exception of France, Switzerland is exactly the same as most of Europe (including the UK) at a basic 20 days minimum but with substantial additional days according to your canton (an additional 15 days if you're lucky enough to live in Solothurn).  Most international employers will offer 25 days as standard with the additional public holidays paid in full.  The table quotes the UK as 28 days, but it's ambiguous as the "statutory entitlement" can include 8 public holidays which employers are NOT obliged to pay.


I understand this entire thread is a bit of a sensitive issue, but it's important to stick to facts and not give false impressions or statements which may inflame an already emotional issue.

The text you are quoting:

Dear Omega Man


A few fact checks, if I may for the benefit of those who believe opinions to be facts.


Your re-quote refers to the "generous system" which pays out when on unemployment benefit (chomage).  If are not aware and/or lucky enough never to have had to claim, you would receive (as a single person) a monthly amount which is calculated at 70% of your last annual salary, including 70% of all bonuses and benefits you received in your last year of work up to a ceiling of CHF10,000 per month.


Yes, you have to have paid your taxes for 1 year.  How else do you think the money gets into the pot?


Compared with the £316.00 per month "job seekers allowane) in the UK, I would say that's generous.


In the UK you also need to have paid sufficient income tax (national insurance contributions) in order to get any unemployment allowance, however this can be refused/zeroed, if you have savings or financial assets over £16,000 (I know this from experience when I was expected to sell my apartment in London before being eligible for benefit). 


In Switzerland your chomage payments are not penalised by your financial situation (I know this also to be true as they ignored my very generous redundancy payout from Nestle when calculating my chomage).


In the case of harassment or any other issues in the workplace, UNIA is the largest trade union in Switzerland and is available to anyone for a membership fee of CHF40 per year.   (I also know this to be true because I had to join in order to settle a very unfair work situation).  They will give legal protection, advice and counselling on any employment issue.  Sometimes just mentioning "I'm getting UNIA involved" solves the problem.


With regard to holidays - I actually clicked on your link and you are incorrect with your quote that Switzerland has the "smallest number of annual leave days (holidays) in Europe".  


Looking at the table you provided and with the exception of France, Switzerland is exactly the same as most of Europe (including the UK) at a basic 20 days minimum but with substantial additional days according to your canton (an additional 15 days if you're lucky enough to live in Solothurn).  Most international employers will offer 25 days as standard with the additional public holidays paid in full.  The table quotes the UK as 28 days, but it's ambiguous as the "statutory entitlement" can include 8 public holidays which employers are NOT obliged to pay.


I understand this entire thread is a bit of a sensitive issue, but it's important to stick to facts and not give false impressions or statements which may inflame an already emotional issue.


Carolyn C, Nov 26, 2019 @ 14:50
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Re: Unemployment sanctions - any experience?
Post 19

> Sometimes just mentioning "I'm getting UNIA involved" solves the problem.


You appear to have had a very lucky experience, which does not match mine. I have been in CH for 10 years now and practically everybody I know that has been working here has been mobbed, fired illegally, or had a burnout for some time. Often all three cases together.


> With regard to holidays - I actually clicked on your link and you are incorrect with your quote that Switzerland has the "smallest number of annual leave days (holidays) in Europe". 


I was actually counting the full days of total paid leave, including holidays (3rd column). Switzerland is on the bottom of the list with 27 days per year.

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> Sometimes just mentioning "I'm getting UNIA involved" solves the problem.


You appear to have had a very lucky experience, which does not match mine. I have been in CH for 10 years now and practically everybody I know that has been working here has been mobbed, fired illegally, or had a burnout for some time. Often all three cases together.


> With regard to holidays - I actually clicked on your link and you are incorrect with your quote that Switzerland has the "smallest number of annual leave days (holidays) in Europe". 


I was actually counting the full days of total paid leave, including holidays (3rd column). Switzerland is on the bottom of the list with 27 days per year.


TheOmegaMan, Nov 26, 2019 @ 17:18
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Post 20

Wish I could join UNIA - unfortunately not all professions are covered ????including my own. If UNIA have clout that’s great. I hope more people join up before they have problems.


In my own case, I consulted a lawyer ( initial fixed fee 15 min job ) and also visited the office of the “ Inspection du Travail” and in both cases was assured that, even though my situation was a case of huge unfairness , I had very little hope of winning against my employer as they were within the law . Employers do seem to have the edge here.....


 


Yet I know for a fact that in the UK ( which - I agree with Carolyn - can be pretty grotty in many other ways!) I would have been entitled to compensation in line with my length of service.

The text you are quoting:

Wish I could join UNIA - unfortunately not all professions are covered ????including my own. If UNIA have clout that’s great. I hope more people join up before they have problems.


In my own case, I consulted a lawyer ( initial fixed fee 15 min job ) and also visited the office of the “ Inspection du Travail” and in both cases was assured that, even though my situation was a case of huge unfairness , I had very little hope of winning against my employer as they were within the law . Employers do seem to have the edge here.....


 


Yet I know for a fact that in the UK ( which - I agree with Carolyn - can be pretty grotty in many other ways!) I would have been entitled to compensation in line with my length of service.


buzzcocks, Nov 26, 2019 @ 19:11
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Post 21

I know I'm late to the conversatio. I wanted to clarify that my friend had confirmed the interview and had a doctors note however due to a less than nice counsellor it was not accepted. It's currently being challenged. 

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I know I'm late to the conversatio. I wanted to clarify that my friend had confirmed the interview and had a doctors note however due to a less than nice counsellor it was not accepted. It's currently being challenged. 


Angie S, Nov 27, 2019 @ 00:25
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