My employer puts me in PIP but confirms that I will not pass it

Hi all,

My company was recently acquired by another one. My boss told me that the new company is pushing for layoffs in my department and I am in the list of people who will lose their job having been a poor performer. Eventually, 2 months later he told me that I am going in a Personal Improvement Plan. I was surprised but thought at least I can save it, but my manager clarified that this is the way that lay-offs happen and that I will not pass it.
That sounds extremely dodgy to me. How can you put me in a pip and tell me that I will not survive it? Even though losing my job is not great, losing it due to a failed PIP is definitely worse. I feel that I have to resign but this will impact my RAV income.
Any advice? Is this legal? Can I claim unfair dismissal? What I do not understand is that given that they can just fire me without compensation (apart from my notice) why bother with this time consuming and humiliating process?

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If you want full RAV, do not resign. Have them terminate. Even if the PIP is fake, refusing this will not look good. Especially in Switzerland where such cowardly layoff programs are not common.


As your company was taken over then likely the new company has to follow some sort of agreed process and cannot just fire people.

Do not resign and risk losing unemployment benefits.

Do start looking for a new job now while you have access to helpful office tools.


Like what? A PA?

Copiers, Printers, Text applications &&&&

It looks like your boss messed up by admitting this was a dodgy process with no hope of redemption. I would go to HR and tell them that you will comply with said dodgy process, but given what you’ve been told you would like a good reference that mentions redundancy (not poor performance). I would also take out legal insurance ASAP since you might need a strongly worded legal letter.

Although employment protection is pretty lax here, HR should want you to leave quietly and amicably and so its no skin off their nose to give you a decent reference that will help you into another job.


For what it’s worth, I went through something quite similar not long ago. It was painful and humiliating, not to mention unfair.

You have my full sympathy and understanding.

And the advise of others here is rock-solid.

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Dear all,

Thank you for the advice. Very much appreciated. Somebody mentioned redundancy/performance letter. Good point. Can the next employer find out if my contract was terminated or not? or does it depend solely on the reference letter from my manager? He has already told me that he will give me a good reference letter, but he may be obliged to say that my contract was terminated?

They will have to be honest with RAV who will inquire the reasons for you being unemployed. The reference letter is something else. They are not allowed to give you a bad reference, so the worst case is a letter that merely states you were employed there.

Also, there is nothing wrong with a letter that states that you were made redundant because of restructuring / take over. It is a good reason to let one go despite good attested performance.

It depends on the company and what their standard template for references is. For some it could just be a few paragraphs of blah blah and in others a detailed report listing roles, responsibilities, performance and reason for leaving. Termination for poor/unsatisfactory performance is obviously a lot worse than redundancy due to down-sizing, however even then it might trigger questions as to why you and not someone else?

The wider issue would be if your new prospective employer wants names of referees, so again you need to get an agreement from your boss that they would not allude to performance. All of this relies on goodwill (unless they play hard ball and force you to seek legal advice), so try and be pleasant and cooperative. Given that they have no desire to performance manage you (which sometimes works) they shouldn’t be so vindictive as to torpedo your chances of finding something else.

I’ve changed jobs twice in Switzerland and although I had a reference letter it was never asked by my new employers. My experience is that at best they will contact a person from your former employer who you nominate as a reference person. Hang in there, tough but you’ll likely be happier at a new place.
Having led a major acquisition integration project, rank and file employees at the target company are at a distinct disadvantage Vs the acquirer and the pain usually persists for a long time