Fri | Feb 23, 2018

Dear Counsellor | I was fired!

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q: I was unceremoniously fired from my job after giving the company three good years of my life. I was employed on a contract and it was not renewed. All of my job appraisals have been good over the years. I am certainly qualified for the job. There was no explanation given to me concerning the reason I was fired. I was not told that the position was being made redundant.

I recently went overseas to visit my ailing father. I intended to spend two weeks there, but I ended up spending three weeks. It was a beautiful time spent with my dad. I am grateful for the time. We bonded. It was quality time.

To be clear, I was not fired because I overstayed on my visit with my dad. I know this because the letter stating that my contract would not be renewed was placed on my desk the same day I left to visit my father. The contract expired on that day.

I am hurting because four years ago I was planning to start my own business and I decided to put that dream on hold in order to make a contribution to my society. However, this is the thanks I get for being a patriot. There was no discussion about my further employment. There was no exit interview. There was no warning and certainly no counselling. I was expecting that my contract would be renewed as it had been on previous occasions. This is just disgraceful. I am not sure what my next step is going to be. Do you have any suggestions about my way forward?

A: Please do not regret visiting your ill father. Sometimes family relationships are worth more than salary. Your employers were very cold. They treated you poorly. It does not appear that they handled you according to good industrial relations practices. You can consult a lawyer or a government body to ascertain whether there was any breach of contract and whether you are entitled to any redundancy payment or notice that your contract will not be renewed, etc.

You should not regret making a contribution to your society. Reward and satisfaction are not always measured in financial terms.

Perhaps it was not the wisest decision to leave the day your contract ended. You could have engaged the company at least three weeks before to determine what they were thinking concerning renewal of your contract. However, this is a good opportunity to restart your own business. When you start to employ persons, you will know how not to treat your employees.

All the best in your future plans.