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Memo to Senior Employee -How To Tell If You Are About To Be Sacked

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

There have been some intriguing reports in the PR/Media press recently with Rupert Murdoch's son-in-law, Matthew Freud delivering a public attack on Fox News output and in particular,one of Murdoch's key Fox employees, Roger Ailes.

Freud said that he was "shamed and sickened" by Fox's journalistic standards and he targeted Ailes in particular.

Roger Ailes is the closest and one of Murdoch's key employees; According to the Guardian on Saturday he earned even more money than Murdoch himself in 2009.

He is largely credited with enabling Fox News to become one of the most profitable elememnts of News Corporation.

Whatever is said, it strikes me that Freud must have had the explicit endoresement of his father-in-law to make such a statement.

It may be that the intention is not to sack Ailes but clearly a message is being communicated to change  his behaviour.    

Former key Murdoch employee and himself sacked by Murdoch, Andrew Neil says "Ailes's days are numbered."

So there we go. A senior employee is at risk of being fired or is being disciplined.

In my experience as lawyer and mediator there are a number of tell tale signs to indicate that you are at risk of being fired.

1 If you are excellent at your job. If you are poor at your job there is a risk that you will be fired, if you are  good at your job, there is less risk. If you are a star performer there is the biggest risk of being fired as your boss may be jealous.

2 If your boss has some kind of psychological flaw. If your boss has some kind of mental issue there is a risk that through no fault of your own your days be numbered. Yoour boss may drive you out exclusively as he has a problem.

3 If you start being frozen out. If you are no longer invited to corporate events or to the boss's for a drink after work these are some of the subtle signs which indicate your time at the firm may be done. The key is that there is a change in behaviour.

4 If your boss has a previous method for sacking staff and it is being repeated. The chances are that your boss has a modus operandi for firing staff. If it is being repeated with you, then beware.

These are some of the signs.

What happens if you ignore them?

Any of the following for starters.

1 You are presented with a letter from your boss warning you that you are at risk of being made redundant The tone is sympathetic but you know your boss hates you.

2 Your loyal PA says that she has seen an email from your number 2 to your boss making critical statements and saying you should be sacked. Apparently your boss has "the issue in hand."

3 You receive a critical email from your boss warning that it is your fault that the business did not make its sales target for the year. The fact that you are being blamed is unfair. 

4 You are suspended from work, walked off the premises on trumped up allegations of gross misconduct.                         

5 You are presented with a Compromise Agreement offering the sum of £70,000 to resign from work. It is less than you want but above any legal entitlement.

Welcome to the fight of your life.

Justin Patten, Employment Solicitor