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After I refused to resign, I got put on my notice period which is 3 months. I have been excluded from all online and onsite meetings in the company, but I'm expected to report to my boss via chat, fill in timesheets with detailed notes of what I've worked on. Selecting options from the timesheet form is no longer enough. If I can't join meetings then they should have just put me on garden leave.

When they were trying to strong-arm me into quitting, my manager removed my GitHub access and IDE license, which prevented me from doing my work. It took a day for my access to be reinstated. The manager has also been very rude.

What can an employer do and not do during an employee's notice period? For example, can they exclude you from all meetings?

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    This is a naïve question. Where did you get the idea that you can attend a meeting without the invitation ?
    – Nobody
    Sep 8, 2023 at 9:47
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    Why do you care? What are they going to do if you don’t fill in a detailed time sheet? Fire you?
    – Darren
    Sep 8, 2023 at 13:18
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    Looking at the previous questions and possibly also because of the user's name (though that might be a misinterpretation, but "Duzi" in a lot of Southern German dialects means what Americans would call a pacifier and Brits a dummy) I get the impression that the user is indeed very young and very inexperienced rather than just 'naive'. Sep 8, 2023 at 22:03
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    @Marianne013 The OP's oldest post was in Jan, 2022. It looks like they already worked for a company for a while. I would say the OP has around 2 years experience. I can hardly call OP "very inexperienced".
    – Nobody
    Sep 9, 2023 at 3:46
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    Had a bit of a look at your question history. I understand Germany provides 'career guidance services for all citizens at any stage of their lives'. I would suggest availing yourself of these services, maybe engaging a career counsellor.
    – mcalex
    Sep 9, 2023 at 17:49

3 Answers 3

76

Yes - they can absolutely do that, and in instances where the employment relationship has significantly broken down (regardless of whose "fault" that is) it's actually pretty sensible to do that, or at the very least to strictly limit which meetings the employee is in. And no, that doesn't equate to being put on gardening leave either.

Really though I wouldn't let it get under your skin - you're on notice and you know that the amount of time you're going to be in this employment situation is going to be finite. Do what they ask you to do and spend the rest of your energy on finding a new job, assuming you haven't got one lined up yet. Look forward not back, this will be over before you know it.

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    I'm not sure it's that cut-and-dry. This behaviour sounds like it might be interpreted as "bullying" at least by the standards set out in my company's HR policy document on such matters, which I'm assuming is fairly standard - but IANAL and IAN in Germany...
    – komodosp
    Sep 8, 2023 at 10:38
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    @komodosp On the flip side, if you know that someone is imminently about to leave the company, then you don't want them sitting in on meetings about the company's Strategic Plan, or any Confidential information. Given the… notable number of other questions this user has posted about their work for this company, it might even be that HR are the ones advising to keep them out of meetings, as damage-mitigation. Sep 8, 2023 at 12:14
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    @Chronocidal if it's about security, they should just send OP on leave. I suspect they're trying to make OP terminate the notice period early. Sep 8, 2023 at 13:16
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    @komodosp: Indeed it isn't that cut-and-dried in all circumstances. In the UK at least, if an employer puts restrictions on an employee that make it effectively impossible for the employee to continue in their job, that may be constructive dismissal which would leave the employer open to legal action from the employee.
    – psmears
    Sep 8, 2023 at 16:16
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    I'd be inclined to fill in the timesheet with notes like "Attempted to complete task X, made little progress because I wasn't at meeting Y". Sep 9, 2023 at 17:29
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They can exclude you from every meeting/activity that is not protected by law (like Betriebsratswahl, Betriebsversammlung or Betriebsratssitzungen - if you are a member).

Just be diligent to write down if you are hampered in your work by restricted access to resources (like Git) or information from meetings. Else there is very little to do.

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  • Can they exclude a software engineer from scrum/stand up meetings when those meetings are important for resolving blockers, discussing tasks etc.?
    – Duzii2
    Sep 14, 2023 at 8:53
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Meetings serve a purpose. Usually the purpose is to keep you up-to-date with future plans of the company, long term development and so on.

There are lots of things discussed in meetings where having you there doesn't benefit the company at all, because you won't ever see the outcome of these future plans, the long term development and so on. And since you are leaving soon, they reduce their risk by not informing you about these things.

Companies also do things to keep employees, like an outing, some event for all employees, Christmas party and so on. Since you have given notice, they are not going to keep you and spending money on this doesn't serve any purpose.

So are there any meetings where it would benefit the company that you are present? That's the question.

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    "Meetings serve a purpose. Usually the purpose is to keep you up-to-date with future plans of the company, long term development and so on." - this is a very one-sided definition of meetings. In more general terms, the purpose of a meeting is to distribute and interpret information. This information might be about the company's future plans, but it might just as well focus on learning what the OP has recently been working on. I can imagine various reasons why the OP may be kept out of different kinds of meetings, but claiming that each meeting is about informing employees about the ... Sep 8, 2023 at 20:00
  • ... confidential future business plans of the company is an oversimplification. Sep 8, 2023 at 20:02
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    @O.R.Mapper Meetings are almost invariably "for" the future though, in the sense that the company expects to get more value from future work if those employees are in that meeting than they would have gotten from those same employees not having a meeting and instead using that time to continue working. Even something like a review or retrospective is explicitly looking at what happened in the past, but the benefit of it is in changing what happens in the future. A lot of them will not provide much benefit to the company for a soon-to-depart employee to attend.
    – Ben
    Sep 11, 2023 at 1:09
  • @Ben: In everything you enumerate, the outcome of the meeting may be for the future, but the input required to reach that outcome in the first place is provided by those taking part at present. And typically, not just by one participant, but mutually, by everyone participating in the meeting. Now, as I wrote, there may be any number of reasons as for why the OP here specifically is not deemed a valuable addition for any of these meetings, but as a general definition of what the purpose of a meeting is, the focus on the subset of meetings that is just there to inform employees about ... Sep 11, 2023 at 7:46
  • ... news from the company, top-down-style, is decidedly too narrow. Sep 11, 2023 at 7:47

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