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Termination case for interview
posted on Thursday, 10 November 2011 22:17

My previous employer has terminated my contract and they asked me to sign for a self resignation letter for their record.  They did not issue any termination letter to me.  As such, when I apply for my new job, I fill in the application letter as self resigned under the reason for leaving the company.  However, as my new employer check reference with my previous employer, they stated "termination" under the reason of leaving.  Therefore, I have the following questions:
1) In normal case, would the new employer ask me to leave because of this.
2) Is it correct or wrong for my previous employer state "termination" for my reason of leaving the company?
3) If my previous employer cannot state "termination" for my reason of leaving, what should I do and how can I stop my previous company to use the word "termination".

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Anonymous's picture
Posted Friday, 04 May 2012 12:03 AM

Most of the bosses won't do it. It can be quite difficult in these situations.

Catherine Ng - Career Doctor's picture
Catherine Ng - Career Doctor  
Posted Wednesday, 30 November 2011 02:20 PM

Dear Amy

It’s not assumed that your new employer will ask you to leave immediately. They will probably investigate further and dig into the details of the reference check and explore the reason of termination. They are likely to have a conversation with you to hear your side of the story. If there is no intentional dishonesty or major concern on the reason for your termination, they may continue your employment.

There is no right or wrong in putting down the reason of leaving as “termination”. It depends on what was agreed on in terms of communication when the employment ended. If you and the company did not agree on anything, they could very likely nominate “termination” as the reason.

It would be difficult to suggest your next steps without knowing the reason for the termination. In the case of redundancy, companies will normally be keen to help employees transition to their next job. They will give a positive reference and state that the employee left the company on good standing.

In the case of termination due to performance issues, some companies will negotiate and agree on separation terms and conditions with the employee. The items to discuss will usually include severance pay, a reference - be it to provide reference letter or to support in reference checks - as well as an agreed communication approach internally and externally about the departure. Other companies may take a more hardline approach in regards to terminating employment. This is especially the case if the performance issue is serious.

If you and your former employer have not come into an agreement, you may want to consider whether to include the company in your future reference checks. You can also consult with the Labor Department for advice.


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