Dear all,

I'm working with a strange situation and I'm interested to know your opinions on how  to deal with it.

I work in an EU country with strong social security. However, you are only entitled to unemployment benefits and severance pay UNLESS you are fired. If you quit you get nothing.

There is a cycle happening, it goes something like this:

step 1) Employee/direct gets unhappy working in their job.

step 2) They start behaving badly, going off sick, missing deadlines, not following through and generally showing poor performance. This can go for months or even years.

step 3) Managers are giving feedback and putting more pressure. Taking away some 'perks' e.g. travel due to bad behavior (which usually gets worse with this treatment)

step 4) Employee/direct comes to one work day and says, I no longer really want to work here but i will not quit since then I miss out on the benefits (severance pay + right to claim unemployment benefits)

step 5) Company pays up, employee leaves happy. The story goes around remaining staff who are left picking up the pieces and extra work of those who left. Cycle repeats with new staff member from step 1!

How to break this cycle (whilst ensuring you're not just chasing whims of the staff)? (i'm glad i'm not CEO!)

How to manage directs who behave like this?

How to keep your own motivation and sanity in this situation?

Thanks for your insights!



TomW's picture
Training Badge

Can you cut their paychecks by 90%? Can you remove the amount of paid time off they receive, so they have to take days without pay?

In the US, there is a difference between fired for cause and laid off. Fired for cause = no benefits. Laid off = benefits. I'm guessing you don't have the same concept?

Going more to the source: why is the person unhappy? Most likely, the solution will be found there.

rwwh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

 "A European country" is a bit vague, since there are quite some differences....

In The Netherlands, it is definitely possible for the company to avoid severance pay if a an employee is not functioning and you can show though documentation that you did work on improving that and that it is really the employee that is not willing to improve. There will most likely still be the right to unemployment benefits.

tplummer's picture

 Work with HR to make sure you have the laws right. Even if you do, it's not your responsibility to solve moral issues in your country. Your first responsibility is to the company. So fire the guy and get someone else in who can perform the job better.