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Submitted by ajhoffman1021 on


I have been informed by my management that we are going to let one of my contract folks go (let's call him George).  He is going to be replaced by a different contract employee (let's call him Henry) -- assuming Henry accepts -- due to what is believed poor performance.  Should I let George know he is on the way out?

I am uncomfortable about the situation because I have been told not to say anything to George; and while I have been having O3s with him, I have not indicated poor performance because I feel he has been doing his job.

From what I've been told, prior to my arrival, there was some feedback from our customer that there were some concerns about George's performance (of which I am not sure George was ever informed).  Recently, I inquired with our customer to get more details but they were vague and non-committal towards George's performance being good or bad.  Because of this, my recommendation to my management was to hire Henry and then move George into a different existing open spot on my team that I felt George might do better in.  That plan was rejected and now we are moving forward with hiring Henry and letting George go.

When I asked how we are going to inform George of his departure, I was informed that we will just let the contract house take care of it.  While I know that technically George is not my employee, it seems a little unprofessional for us to onlyl leave it up to the contract house to let him go.

I know there is a podcast about helping an employee "get prepared" to leave, but if I say anything at this point, it may cause problems for me and my management.  Any suggestions on what (if anything) I should do? or should I just keep my head down and let it play out?

GlennR's picture

"I have been told not to say anything to George;"

There's your answer. Here's why:

...but if I say anything at this point, it may cause problems for me and my management.

Don't cause problems for management and yourself.

ajhoffman1021's picture
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I know...I think I just needed someone else to say it outloud also.  Thanks, GlennR.

cynaus's picture
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And an ethical decision that you may have to make down the track if this is how your organisation does business.

Here in Australia, that process of ending a contract would give the employee access to an unfair dismissal claim if the project or work being done is not completed (ie hiring someone else to continue in the same role) and there was no performance management. If the employee has every reason to believe their contract would be renewed, it's shaky ground. 

A fixed term contract employee really should only be fixed term for reasons of a specific project or similar. If performance related, then the requisite discussions should take place first. 


tplummer's picture

 The "right" thing to do is to explain it to him. But, that's not where you're at. My company has done the same thing. Contract work is by definition temporary and the company doesn't owe that employee anything. It's unfortunate that a company would take that stance. But, you've been given your orders and you should follow them.