"Many people told me: if you want to quit before the end of your contract, then, only under the article; no one will dismiss you by parties' mutual consent," says Oksana Vrublevskaya, who had worked for about a year as a senior cashier at the "Gippo" retailer store in Zaslavl, a dwelling settlement not far from Minsk. Back in March, Oksana submitted a dismissal application for. Initially, the store bosses were ready to let her go by parties' consent, but later changed their mind.
"I guessed myself that I had been fired, when the money came to my bank card. I called the head of cashiers' division, who didn't know that I had been fire either. A few hours later, she called back and confirmed that they had really fired me. They didn't show me the dismissal order, and failed to notify me in any way. The order was signed on May 13, when I had a day off. Two days later, when I took away my from the personnel division, they told me that they shouldn't notify me in advance."
"You can quit this store only under the article"
Oksana's workbook says that she was fired "systematic failure, without valid reason, to perform her duties." She categorically disagrees with the wording. She had been always diligent at work, although she disliked the working conditions at the store. At the same time, the managers not only failed to ensure proper working conditions, but also demanded, by their orders, to fulfil the work not included in workers' duties, and sometimes – a direct violation of instructions.
"Insanitary conditions, cash machines struck with electric current; they fail to pay for overtime": Gippo cashier from Zaslavl appealed to REP
"I believe that the dismissal under the article is the revenge of the Gippo management for the application submitted to the Department of the State Labour Inspectorate, where I described in detail the unsanitary conditions in which the store employees have to work, and numerous violations of fire protection and labour safety. The reason for my dismissal was allegedly in numerous remarks and disciplinary reprimands. Half of them are based on memos and acts drafted by the head of the store's security," Oksana has explained.
"If a 'secret buyer' puts a low grade to the store, they punish ordinary employees"
"In April, I was reprimanded for not complying in full with customers' servicing standards; I was deprived by 10% of my premium. As it turned out later, the complaint was filed by a 'secret buyer', who assesses the conditions and services in the store from the entrance to the cashier's post. The system is built in such a way that if a 'secret buyer' is unsatisfied with any thing, the ordinary workers, sellers, goods handlers, cashiers, but never the office staff and the bosses, are deprived of their bonuses."
Article 42, Part 4, of the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus: "An employment contract concluded for an indefinite period, as well as a fixed-term employment contract can be terminated by the employer before the expiry thereof in the following cases: ... 4. A systematic failure by the employee to fulfil his/her duties of internal labour regulations, if disciplinary measures have been earlier applied to the employee."
"They are still searching for person to the cashier's vacancy"
"Initially, the store bosses were ready to dismiss me on parties' consent; they just asked me, before leaving, to train a senior cashier to working instead of me. However, after I completed the training of a new senior cashier, the bosses told me that they could not find a person to this place now; therefore, they could not dismiss. They paid me nothing extra for training, which took about two weeks. Working at this store was a constant strain; it's not surprising that they still can't fill the vacancy," Oksana Vrublevskaya has concluded.
How to quit before contract expiry, if bosses wouldn't let you go?
"The problem of quitting supermarket chains remains very topical in Belarus. The REP Trade Union is regularly receiving appeals from people who are sick tired of inhuman working conditions and just want to quit, but they are not allowed to. It turns out that almost for every ordinary employee of a retailer they create a system of reprimands 'for systematic failure to perform one's duties'."
"In Oksana Vrublevskaya's case, after contacting the Department of State Labour Inspectorate and the start of inspections, the store bosses added a disciplinary punishment on the employee. Besides, according to the law, the store administration was obliged to notify the trade union not later than two weeks before the termination of employment contract. The Gippo bosses and the personnel department know that Oksana is a member of the REP Trade Union. In fact, it is an illegal dismissal. Now, we are preparing lawsuits for submitting to the court, "said Yuri Belyakov, a REP's legal inspector.