They were fired and tell us how they lived it

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Les licenciements ouvrent les droits aux allocations-chômage, et ce même pour faute grave ou lourde.

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Posted Jan 11, 2022, 6:01 PMUpdated on Jan 11, 2022 at 6:10 PM

Josephine* had not seen it coming. His company, a start-up in full fundraising, was promised a bright future. One morning, she is summoned. “We will have to part with you, we have no more money”, she recalls. The fundraiser had failed. It's the emotional lift. She was 26 in 2017, it was her first job. “I certainly had a junior profile, but my salary after leaving business school was too expensive for them”, she analyzes today.

It will therefore be the door, as for about twenty other employees of the company. The mood, she says, was gloomy to say the least. “I was one of the first people to leave, for the rest it was Russian roulette, who was going to jump, who was going to stay? »

Others have had even less time to get used to the idea, or even to make a farewell party. Eléonore, then alternating in fashion, had to leave overnight. His employer terminated his probationary period.

“They told me that I didn't know how to be and reproached me for asking too many questions. They gave me the papers for Pôle Emploi and it was over”, she says. “They actually wanted someone who was already operational… They didn't really understand the concept of work-study…” A bitter reality for the young woman of 25 years.

Disguised dismissals

Joséphine, she left with a conventional break rather than an economic redundancy, too costly for the company. “Despite everything, I remain very attached to this company and I did not want it to go bankrupt”, she points out. She accepts what is offered to her, negotiating two and a half months of severance pay.

These disguised dismissals are commonplace. A study carried out in 2016 showed that 30% of employees had actually been “forced” to enter into a contractual termination the previous year. In November 2021, 38,000 conventional terminations were approved, up 8.2% over the last three months.

“There is much less risk of litigation for companies, which are more difficult to sue before the industrial tribunal in the event of a conventional breach”, explains Elise Fabing, partner at Alkemist lawyers and specialist in labor law. And to add: In case of suffering at work, it is better to let yourself be dismissed to give yourself the possibility of going to court and asking for compensation and compensation. »

According to figures from Dares, the statistical institute of the ministry, between March 2021 and May 2021, the period of confinement, 146,500 people registered with Pôle emploi after economic redundancy (+7% in two years). A figure that has been decreasing since the economic recovery.

In some cases, a dismissal is thus more advantageous, in particular for economic reasons. The employee benefits from reclassification plans, does not have a deferral between his severance pay and his unemployment insurance benefits or even benefits from priority rehiring.

Loss of trustworthy

Pierre* is precisely one of these forced contractual ruptures. Less than a year in a family business of a hundred employees, this social media manager believes he was pushed at the start. “I was told that I didn't have the mentality of the box. Except that I was on a permanent contract and they couldn't get me out like that. » Meetings follow “unofficial” with his superiors to do so “crack”, he believes. Alas, he ended up signing.

The 25-year-old is thus turning the page on several months spent in a deleterious work atmosphere in which he no longer flourished. But the rupture is violent. He plunged into a depression for several months.

For these young people, for whom this is often their first salaried job, being fired is a brutal confrontation with the world of work. Loss of self-confidence, doubts about skills, disgust with the company…

“It still affects me today. I was made to feel like I didn't belong in the working world and couldn't be myself.”, testifies Sophie * who was then in charge of the development projects of a school, dismissed a few months ago.

“Everything was very brutal”

The 31-year-old's position was eliminated as part of a collective performance agreement (APC). This makes it possible in particular to offer new positions internally, but in the event of refusal, the employer can initiate a dismissal procedure.

“Everything was very brutal. I found it so violent that I let it be known. I started to be cataloged as the pain in the ass, the one who opened it up a little too much”, she believes. “I was then offered the only position that no one wanted. I refused and was fired., she continues.

The shock is all the more violent for the employees to whom we had promised mountains and wonders during recruitment and who finally realize that they can be dismissed overnight. The same people who then have to live with a drop in income linked to lower unemployment benefits.

Unemployment after dismissal

Dismissals give rise to rights to unemployment benefits, even for serious or gross negligence. But in these last two situations, the dismissed employee does not receive severance pay (calculated according to the law, the collective agreement or the employment contract).


Eléonore, the alternating in fashion, benefited from unemployment of 750 Pounds. She found herself in difficulty, to the point of going to food banks. In the midst of the Covid crisis, she failed to find an alternation, preventing her from validating her master's degree.

Others, like Etienne*, decide to leave everything for their job and finally… find themselves at the door. This former policeman has converted to a design office. He has to learn everything, but his company, he thought, is ready to train him.

“I was told that I needed at least a year to be independent. After five months, my employer terminated my probationary period”, he recalls today, still immersed in incomprehension. “I have the impression that they had a whim. They told me they were looking for personality rather than skills, that if I made mistakes it wouldn't matter. It all turned around very quickly. »

It is an understatement to say that this situation remained across the throat of this young father of 28 years. He had worked since he was 20 as a civil servant, but the only period taken into account by unemployment insurance is that in the private sector, therefore six months, or 600 Pounds of unemployment.

The rebound

This bad experience did not however call into question his desire for retraining. Etienne is still looking for his way and is considering resuming training in commerce. After the shock of dismissal, we must already think about “the after”.

Joséphine took advantage of this break to travel with her companion. Today, she has started freelancing and is doing quite well. Eléonore first found a food job before landing a new permanent contract in her branch. His trial period broken during his alternation nevertheless remains a drag. Some employers called her former company, which did not recommend her.

Others, like Pierre, are more radical. “I was destroyed by the company”, he confides. The young man then decided to undertake and open a box in art. Since then, he has recruited his first intern. “I'm flexible but not too flexible either. I need the human relationship to be at the top and to be able to help him evolve and emerge fulfilled from this experience., he adds. It is an understatement to say that his previous experience served as a lesson in management.

*Name has been changed.


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