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Friday December 19th 2014

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Female PMET unhappy with imminent job termination

 
Dear Gilbert
 
Firstly, thank you for your time and patience to go through this email.
 
I have work in this local company for slightly more than a year.
 
Although there was no formal appraisal established so far but I have received good salary increments and overseas job assignments.
 
Recently, I was given some tasks which were out of my scope and experience which I faithfully tried my best to find ways to manage and deliver.
 
In the midst of the attempting the tasks,  I faced much difficulties which was constantly updated to the management. No help and guidances were given so I continued to try my best to overcome my obstacles. 
 
To my surprise, my HR & admin manager claimed to represent my CEO, my immediate supervisor, brought me to a meeting room and started her interrogation  accusing me that I have  outstanding tasks which was pending for months without any update to the management.
 
She also brought up some of her observation targeting at my personality, saying I am too sensitive and persistent in my approach.
 
I rejected her observation but she forced me to admit and agree to her observation.
 
I am just speechless.
 
As a manager, I feel that being sensitive to the environment and persistent in pursing objectives and goals to satisfy the requirements of customers are good attributes instead of being laid-back and let things happen. 
 
I took the opportunity to share with her of the unpleasant treatments I had from my male colleagues since she is the HR manager.
 
There is a male co-worker who constantly teased me of my bosom, figures and insinuated that I could have exchanged sexual favours with sales orders. I labelled such behaviours as sexual harrassment. do you agree?
 
I shared my woes with this HR manager that such unpleasant treatments have made me feel uncomfortable to stay in the office.
 
She appears indifferent.
 
Numerous emails were followed up after this interrogation to chase for tasks to be completed.
 
Since the chaser became a daily one, I wrote in to suggest and  appeal they changed the chasers to a less frequent basis as customers and other business partners will not revert with a reply within 12-24 hours and they have to observe and respect public holidays and vacations of our customers who are mainly overseas.
 
My CEO finally surfaced in response to my appeal email that I took months to complete my tasks, failed to update regularly and commented that if I failed to convince people, I cannot do this job.
 
It is impossible that I did not provide any update as there are monthly meetings and emails correspondences which I have updated status and the difficulties I faced.
 
If there was no update for months, my CEO and  his assistant would have prompted and should never let this happened.
 
After a while, I thought everything is back to harmonious mood but I was shocked to see that they placed a job adv on The Straits Times to recruit for my position.
 
I have a feeling they may threaten me  with a termination soon or give me an option to resign.
 
Is it really wise to take the option to resign if there is no ground that I have done anything wrong and it will put into unfair circumstances that I have to serve contractual notice of 3 months.
 
Can they terminate me without any notice in this case?
 
There is no inquiry nor valid ground of misconduct or insubordination.
 
What do you suggest I should do to fight for my rights?
 
Hope to hear from you soon.
 
Thanks & Warm Regards
 
Ivonne
 
***********
 
Hi Ivonne
 
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament at work.
 
Work commitment and fulfillment of responsibilities are probably the greatest stressors for executives and sometimes how our bosses measure us can also be conflicting.
 
Moreover, our employment act does not  cover the rights of senior executives  here and employers have the upper hand when it comes to hiring and firing – sometimes unreasonably.
 
I was fired twice in my career and of course took them badly.
 
However, I survived and tried to learn lessons out of the two terminations and be wiser in future.
 
You can of course bring up the case to MOM for arbitration but from my experience handling such cases, it will be a tall order if you can get any satisfactory result.
 
If the company terminates you giving three  months’  notice within the contract, MOM can’t really do much as its legally binding despite the conflicting situation.
 
MOM will probably also advise you to seek your own legal recourse if you want to pursue the case further – which is absurb.
 
There is a serious lack of an independent ombudsman here and I am sure that there are many executives out there crying for one to be set up.
 
When a company wishes to terminate a executive there may be other reasons as well.
 
Someone on par with you or higher in ranking may be jealous of your achievement and wants to remove you from your position for fear that you will over take them in future.
 
Our competitiveness has drove us to be very malicious so that we can survive at the work place – by driving out other more capable executives.
 
My personal take is that if the company wants to terminate you – it is time to look around.
 
The way you describe your company’s environment also makes me wonder why you want to work on longer in such a  toxic work place.
 
Sexual remarks like those you mentioned are certainly shocking and you can bring it up to your boss or his superior as it constitutues sexual harassment.
 
If not, you can bring it up to the MOM.
 
Look through your employment letter and ensures that they provide you the fair compensation for termination.
 
They can either terminate you giving three months’ paid notice i.e they will ask you to work for three months or ask you to leave immediately and provide you with three months’ pay.
 
However, termination is often reflected badly on the executive and  if prospective employers are to call the company for employment verification, it may not go down well for you.
 
If the company provides you an option to resign voluntarily, it may be wise to take it.
 
Lastly, have the perspective that  its the company’s loss if they let you go and you have a better place to contribute your skills and knowledge elsewhere.
 
I also urge you to find a job first before resigning as its not that easy to land one nowadays.
 
Moreover, employers tend to view jobseekers who are currently working favourably.
 
Take care and let me know if we can assist  you further.
 
We are here for you.
 
 Gilbert Goh

Reader Feedback

11 Responses to “Female PMET unhappy with imminent job termination”

  1. Johson - Australia says:

    No offence but once you are black marked , you are as good as gone. Staying on unhappily is not an answer. Be smart, keep quiet, continue working and in the mean time look for another job. Once you get an offer, leave on the spot. Don’t leave without a job. Be smart about it. Give it another 1-2 mths and if things don’t improve, move on. Use this 1-2 months to see if their attitudes change as at times it could be just you being over sensitive.

  2. David says:

    As an Ex-HR practitioner, I can advice you regrading Labour Law.

    Your company can terminate your contract due to poor performance or do not needs your service any more.

    Your company can terminate your contract by giving you 3 months notices however you must still report to work in the company because this is not a ‘Termination of contract without notice’.

    You can Appeal against Unfair Dismissal or Request for Voluntary Mediation Assistance from MOM.

    I do not have detail information so I cannot give a good judgement however from the email about I think you have no case even if you see MOM.

  3. Al says:

    Nowsaday there is a high possibility that you will be replaced by an FT (or someone cheaper & can do you job) even if you do well in your current position. Your boss or superior will also compare you with someone else. Everyone is dispensable unless you are very unique or have some kind of a special skill that the company can’t survive without you; or you a ‘good luck’ person that brings the company wealth (they will treasure you for that moment, when u become ‘unlucky’ or no bziness then they kick u out). Otherwise, it will be great that u can become independent & be your own boss 1 day.

  4. jj@39 says:

    What is a HR mgr’s role in a company?

    Besides placing hirig ad, conduct interviews, applying permits, negotiate salary package, conduct survey, updating particulars, keep appraisal, handling complains etc. They usually act as envoy, representative or spoke person on the behalf of the senior mgmt. They can be very arrogance, cunning. They are full of excuses & will rebuff you when you disagree or question them on their accusation.

    Ivonne, I don’t think it is the HR mgr who doesn’t like you but somebody from the senior mgmt doesn’t like you. They asked the HR mgr to deal with you first. The second phase should be more likely to be asking you to leave. They might even force you to resign on your own accord in order to save their own skins from MOM or lawsuit. It can be a immediately thing, no need to give you 3 months notice.

    My suggestion to you is to start looking for a new job. They placed a job adv on The Straits Times to recruit for you position right? If you want to get even with them, you can start preparing too.

    In some companies, especially the smaller ones, they don’t have HR mgr/logistics mgr. They will get a accountant to oversee the HR & logistics functions.

  5. Anon says:

    Sounds like this job gone case liao. Damn surprised the writer simply just close both eyes and continue working for the past 12 months. The writing on the wall already so damn big, still don’t want to find another job 12 months ago??

    9-12 months ago, many big companies still hiring. Now many companies are cautious, both asia and world economies are slowing down rapidly.

    This is a lesson for all readers here — LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER ONE. Don’t let yourself be caught without an escape route or back door.

    Better grab another job even if the pay is slightly lower. 90% chance this current employer will order you to go by Dec 2012.

  6. jj@39 says:

    The author, Ivonne must has been performing well with her job that’s why she got good salary increments and overseas job assignments even though there is no formal appraisal established.

    The reason why she was assigned tasks which are out of her scope and experience could be bcoz these tasks are somethngs that are difficult & troublesome & there’s no taker. Since she was able to perform well so far, so she was picked as a target to do the tasks.

    Not too surprisely that no help and guidances were given to her coz these tasks are difficult & troublesome. Who ever gets involve, he/she is asking for more works to do.

  7. Colin says:

    Hi Ivonne, I believe you are blacklisted in the company. Now your company is adopting a strategy to make you submit the “I quit” letter on your own so as not to get any lawsuit or pay the notice period to you. Even if there is lawsuit, the law will not favor your side of the story too much and usually, the richer party will win the law suit based on time, influence, money and power. Law is a double edged sword that do not necessarily protect the victims at work. You can do a few things at this time. Complete all of your work and treat the whole situation with a smile. Should they terminate you immediately, the company is required to pay you a lump sum of notice indicated in the employment contract. You get free money for the notice period that you need not serve. At the same time, you can look for a new job with that free money from the notice period to support you for the time being. Good luck and stay positive =)

  8. Anon says:

    Most unlikely for this company to terminate her without notice period and pay her the 3 months salary just like that. This type of company will terminate giving the pre-requisite notice period. And if you slack or give bad attitude during this termination period of 3 months, the company will deduct “costs” and “penalties” from your final months’ salary.

    In fact, even if she were to serve out the remaining 3 months with due diligence, the company will probably purposely find faults with her performance, so that they can record in black & white in order to deduct her salary. E.g. give her extremely tough assignments, or demand impossible datelines, or unimagineable sales targets etc etc.

  9. [...] views Latest 15 PostsWhy I have to return home – even though I love Sydney September 9, 2012Female PMET unhappy with imminent job termination September 7, 201223-year-old Burmese permanent resident offended by comment made by Singaporean and [...]

  10. Andrew says:

    Hi Ivonne, sorry to hear about your predicament. Stay positive, one door closes, another will opens. I’m looking for a Marcom Exec, if you are keen, do send me your CV. Thanks.

  11. jj@39 says:

    HR professionals usually don’t get involve in other depts’ daily work/operations too. Even if they did, it’s only to certain degree of involvement. You complain to the HR about the problems you face in your work. They also unfamiliar with the daily work/operations in your dept. What can you expect from them?

    When come to sexual harassment, bias or favouritism complains. It’s their job to listen, counselling, investigate, take actions etc. but will they perform their duties? When senior mgmt is involve, HR professionals will also hesitate whether to investigate & take actions or not.

    I hope to see some good HR professionals in the future.

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