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Lay off and FIRE
Old 12-01-2010, 07:10 PM   #1
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Lay off and FIRE

Why do they always lay people off around holidays? Seem so cruel. I got laid off 3 years ago around this time. It was 2007 and I found a new job in 4 months.

Today, after few days of uncertainty, my wife finally got the "call" from the VP. She still has a job but few of her collegues and old boss got the axe. I have been telling her that our numbers are OK, so if she is laid off, she can just collect severance and 2 years of unemployment, then FIRE.

An old collegue of mine from my old job got his axe today.
Why do they always lay people off around holidays?
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:19 PM   #2
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Why do they always lay people off around holidays? Seem so cruel. I got laid off 3 years ago around this time. It was 2007 and I found a new job in 4 months.
It is.

I think it's often because they just found out what next year's budget for headcount is, and they also have to do it before you may accrue some additional benefits for the start of the new calendar year. Could be wrong, though, but those would be business reasons for it, callous as it seems.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:44 PM   #3
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It is.

I think it's often because they just found out what next year's budget for headcount is, and they also have to do it before you may accrue some additional benefits for the start of the new calendar year. Could be wrong, though, but those would be business reasons for it, callous as it seems.
This is indeed the case for some companies - investment banks were notorious for doing this to avoid paying annual bonuses to bankers and traders.

The other common reason is that when a company makes people redundant, it incurs certain costs and (more often than not) they would prefer to recognise those in the current financial year.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:01 PM   #4
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I had the opposite happen to me when I was hired by my former company. While I had two "final" interviews late in the year, the firm offer was made to me just after the first of the new year.

The year I was hired (1979), there was a "wave" of folks that were hired, all within the first two months of the year.

I would agree with the thoughts having to do with the time of layoff having to do with end of year authorized manning levels for the next budget period (e.g. the following year).
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:21 AM   #5
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It is.

I think it's often because they just found out what next year's budget for headcount is, and they also have to do it before you may accrue some additional benefits for the start of the new calendar year. Could be wrong, though, but those would be business reasons for it, callous as it seems.
I think you're right. Next year's budget didn't go to its final vote by the City Council until last week. Employees at risk of being laid off got warning notices in late October, I think, but they didn't find out for sure until two days before Thanksgiving.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:50 AM   #6
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I'm (almost?) hoping to get laid off, the advantages of being FI. :-)
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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When I was laid off, it was due to the company being bought by a larger one, and about 40% of the company was eliminated at a stroke. Talk about a hectic day! The poor HR folks all had dark circles under their eyes from having to prepare all that paperwork at short notice.

Personally, I was delighted. Not only did I get some severance, but I had been miserable in the job for a couple of years, and just stayed there out of inertia. Instead of considering it a job loss, I decided to say I was encouraged to FIRE myself, and I've been happy ever since (that was nine years ago).
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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I have to pay my old company, and the two CEO's I worked under during the 27 years I was there, a compliment. Both had a long-standing policy that any headcount reductions were to be completed by the end of October. No layoffs were done in the months of November or December.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:39 AM   #9
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I have to pay my old company, and the two CEO's I worked under during the 27 years I was there, a compliment. Both had a long-standing policy that any headcount reductions were to be completed by the end of October. No layoffs were done in the months of November or December.
Wow. Was this a public company that answered to shareholders? Highly unusual if so...

Still, that would put a new spin on "trick or treat"...
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:41 AM   #10
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Wow. Was this a public company that answered to shareholders? Highly unusual if so...
Yes - although it was a US company answering to UK shareholders.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:27 AM   #11
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I have also always thought those December staff reductions were due to budgets and cuts for the new year.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:37 AM   #12
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I have also always thought those December staff reductions were due to budgets and cuts for the new year.
We were typically so obsessed focused we knew what cuts were needed by the end of the 3Q to make our numbers. That same obsession focus saw the 4Q dedicated to absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt, do or die achieving the numbers with most of the following year's budgeting done in the 1Q.

Yeah, it was screwy but the company made a boatload of money.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:54 AM   #13
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BTW, if paying severance pay, and exceeding SS limit, it would save the companies 6+% if they do layoff at end of year as oppose to Jan.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:52 PM   #14
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How many corps have their fiscal year end on Dec 31?

I've heard one excuse that they didn't want employees spending money for the holidays and then coming back and getting laid off.

Bottom line is, there isn't a good time for it, unless you want to get laid off.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:31 PM   #15
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My brother got fired from his job the week before Christmas in 2000. Some lame excuse that he mentioned production figures in an e-mail to one of their major contractors that did work for the company. He was just about to make 7 years with the company that then owed him a 6 month paid vacation.

This was in the Australian boon-doggles where such incentives are needed to get folks to live there. All the housing in the town was owned by the mining company and rented out. He also had a company car, so he lost their main car had to find somewhere to rent in a town 150 miles away and move his family (3 small kids). What a miserable holiday that was (his wife had to give up her job as well, plus the kids had to move school). It took him 3 months to find a job and since then he has bought a house in this large town where he initially rented (MacKay) and now commutes to work, driving 3 hours on a Sunday, living in adult dorms and driving back after work on a Friday.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #16
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Our layoffs were Feb 2008 and Mar 2009, I can tell you we knew it was coming before the Holidays but we consciously chose to wait...not everyone is cruel, but we still have to do what it takes to save the ship.
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