Licencier un collaborateur

Les mots clés et expressions:

Redundancy (UK) / lay (ing)-off (USA)Definition: termination of a contract, loss of work not due to employee’s fault.Translation : Licenciement (pour raison économique, suppression de poste, etc.)DismissalDefinition : a sacking (informal), a firing (informal), loss of work due to employee’s fault.Translation : RenvoiLay-off letter / pink slip (informal, USA)Definition: formal written notice to an employee informing him/her that he/she will no longer work for the company.Translation: Avis de licenciementA month’s noticeDefinition: advance warning of a month, a month’s time scale before contract ends.Translation: Un mois de préavisGross misconductDefinition: improper behavior, breaking a significant company rule with serious consequences.Translation: Faute grave / lourdeMinor misconductDefinition: inappropriate behavior, small wrong doings.Translation : Faute légèreTo dismissDefinition : to let someone go, to give someone notice, to tell someone that they are to leave the company.Translation: Donner congé à quelqu’unGrounds for…Definition: reasons behind…, justification for doing something.Translation: Motifs de… Unfair dismissal claimDefinition :wrongful dismissal allegation, appeal against an unjustified loss of job.Translation: Plainte pour licenciement abusifTo downsizeDefinition: to reduce the workforce, to cut staff.Translation: Réduire l’effectif To offer voluntary redundanciesDefinition : to ask for volunteers to be laid off, to allow employees to opt for redundancy themselves.Translation : Encourager (financièrement) les départs volontairesRedundancy proceduresDefinition : official steps to follow when ending a contract.Translation: Procédure de licenciementRedundancy pay (UK)Definition: financial compensation for loss of job.Translation : Indemnités de licenciement Severance packageDefinition: redundancy perks, benefits for the loss of a job.Translation: Prime de licenciementPayment in lieu of noticeDefinition: employee no longer works, however salary is paid during the notice period ; contract can be ended with no notice, but all pay normally due during notice period must be paid.Translation: Dispense de préavis avec indemnitéTo earmark positions for closureDefinition: to decide which jobs will be cut.Translation: Désigner des postes à supprimerRecruitment freezeDefinition: temporary stop on hiring employees, company halts all recruitment.Translation: Gel des recrutementsCompensationDefinition: financial help to make up for job loss.Translation: DédommagementTo be transparentDefinition : to explain clearly and in full, to have a clear communication structure.Translation: Etre transparentTo comply with the terms in the employment contract /agreementDefinition: to abide by the contractual conditions, to act in accordance to the agreed terms.Translation : Respecter les termes ducontratUnemployedDefinition: jobless, without work.Translation: Au chômageTo relocate businessDefinition: to move to another place, to set up business elsewhere.Translation: DélocaliserTo announce to all staffDefinition: to keep everybody informed, to update all employees.Translation : Informer tout le personnelTo act within the lawDefinition: to abide by current legal regulations, to proceed legally.Translation: Se conformer à la loiTo set up individual meetingsDefinition: to booktime to meet, to fix time slotsfor private conversations.Translation : Fixer des entretiensTo reach a compromiseDefinition: to seek common ground, to give and take.Translation: Trouver un compromis Mass redundancy Definition : group redundancy, mass lay-offs (20 or more employees are made redundant in one establishment in a 90 day period).Translation: Plan de licenciement collectifTrade union (UK) / labor union (US) Definition: organized association of employees engaged in a particular type of work to protect their rights and improve working conditions.Translation : SyndicatTo be entitled to…Definition: to be eligible for, to qualify for, to have the right to.Translation : Avoir droit à… 

Les usages à respecter:

• A dismissal must be based on legitimate reasons – gross misconduct, repeated minor misconducts, or an employee failing to effectively carry out his/ her job over a period of

time. It’s based on skills, abilities and attitude, but not on age.

• A lay-off was originally used for a temporary interruption in paid work, but nowadays, it is used for a permanent elimination of a position.

• «Bumping» is a common current word used when somebody else’s job disappears and they are moved into your job, thus making you redundant.

Quelques règles de bon anglais:

To make /To be madeFrom the company’s point of view, we say to make someone redundant or to make X redundancies.Examples :– The Board has decided to make 15 redundancies.– The Board has decided to make 15 people redundant.From the employee’s point of view we say to be made redundant, using the passive form (to be +past participle).Examples :– Fifteen employees are going to be made redundant next month.– I was made redundant last year.– I have just been made redundant.To be laid offThis expression is commonly used in this passive form as well.Example :– The workers were laid off due to the lack of new orders.


Use the expressions you have learnt in this lesson to fill in the missing word(s), then check the result below.

1. Theft, fraud, discrimination and harassment, serious breach of confidence are all examples of.............

2. A minor misconduct is not normally adequate grounds for ............, but if behaviour is repeated, even after warnings, then it becomes a gross misconduct issue.

3. The Citizens Advice Bureau is an excellent point of contact in the UK for employees to seek help and to know exactly what compensation they may ............ should there be

a loss of job.

4. In order to avoid having to lay off staff, companies often adopt a ............ for a certain period of time until the economic crisis comes to an end.

5. There is a minimum ........... set down by law which is available to all laid off employees depending on their age, length of service and former weekly pay in the UK.

6. When announcing redundancies to staff, it’s important to put your personal feelings aside and to ............, sticking to the facts to ensure a clear understanding of the


7. Headquarters wants to ............ to Tunisia where overhead costs are very low and local labour is readily available.

8. I think John has just received his ............ judging by the look on his face. We’d better not bother him too much.

9. I honestly don’t understand why I have been chosen. Can you please explain very clearly the ............ my contract termination?

10. It’s extremely difficult to maintain motivation and morale among the workforce when ............. has to take place within a specified period of time.

11. When a company has to ............ , the very first step is to ............ by analyzing recent performance data and deciding which services are no longer essential for the future.

12. As stated in your contract, you’ll have ............ to work during which your normal salary will be paid.

13. I was extremely lucky when I was made redundant, probably due to my near retirement age, and I came off with a pretty advantageous ........... , including a big additional

lump sum payment and medical and dental care for the rest of my life.

14. I would like to ............ the current situation as it stands today before the rumors get out of hand. Could you please call everybody into the main hall immediately?

15 . I was made redundant in November of last year, so I’ve now been ............ for 7 months and it’s really hard going.

16 . Paul was told to leave on the spot without any prior warning and without being allowed to go back to his office so he’s going to follow it up with ............


SOLUTIONS : 1 : gross misconduct. 2 : dismissal. 3 : be entitled to. 4 : recruitment freeze. 5 : redundancy pay. 6 : be transparent. 7 : relocate business. 8 : lay-off letter. 9 :

grounds for. 10 : mass redundancy. 11 : downsize / earmark positions for closure. 12 : a month’s notice. 13 : severance package. 14 : announce to all staff. 15 : unemployed.

16 : an unfair dismissal claim.

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