My girlfriend received an offer from a Big-4 company in Switzerland in September 2018 for a job starting in October 2019. They told her that they will send the contract later since there is still time. Note that at this point nothing has been signed yet.

She recontacted them a few times and only this week told her that the they had moved the start of the job back to February 2019. However, in the mean time she already found a job for a fixed 6 months from January 2019 to June 2019. Which she cannot legally retract from.

They proposed her a lower position as a replacement for her old promised job starting at the same date as her original job offer.

What would you suggest doing? Is there anything on her side of the (Swiss) law?

  • 2
    If she never signed a contract, she never had the job. – sf02 Jan 16 '19 at 18:58
  • 1
    @JoeStrazzere I would assume not, as the start date was moved back* to February 2019. – panoptical Jan 16 '19 at 19:11
  • It seems unlikely that Switzerland is a place a person can be legally forced to work. There must be some way to buy out the current offer? – Affe Jan 16 '19 at 20:08

I can't speak to Swiss law or any legal requirements, but this kind of thing happens almost all the time in more general contractor/employer relationships.

If, as the employer, you need the contractor (or new employee) to start work sooner, but the contractor can't do that as that would form a scheduling conflict, the employer will typically find someone else to fill the role, and the contractor will have to find a different client.

That's not to say that there isn't any room for negotiation; if there is some sort of buyout clause to your girlfriend's contract for the January-June job, and the employer wants to hire her that much, the new employer could offer to compensate her for that. She could also try to simply negotiate a higher salary (as a result of an expedited schedule) that could offset the cost of that buyout.

If there is no buyout or legal means to leave the January-June job, then barring any special Swiss laws, you're out of luck with the now-Feburary job.

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