We aim to be transparent on the good and bad. Here we take a look at how and why Status lets a contributor go, known as an involuntary termination.

NB: the info here is some general guidance - there may be local-specific nuances owing to employment law/compliance obligations that exist in different jurisdictions.

What are the reasons Status might terminate a contract?

  • Redundancy - the role is no longer required, either for operational or financial reasons.

  • Poor performance - the person in the role is not producing work of a sufficient standard.

  • Misconduct - behaviour(s) that is unethical, unprofessional, or negligent.

The above are instances where Status initiates the decision to end the contract, there are of course voluntary terminations (i.e. the contributor makes a decision to leave, e.g. resignation).

Who actually makes the decision?

  • Carl, Jarrad, & People Ops

Who else is involved in the process?

  • Legal advisor - consulted (where necessary) for counsel on employment law considerations
  • Finance - informed, to give a heads up on final pay, and to update their records
  • Lead - to give their input on the decision, and also to plan around the departure.

Why are firings so secretive?

  • Above all else, we want to be discreet and respect each person's privacy. Although we aim to be transparent on things related to the organisation, matters related to conduct and performance are personal, and we feel it would be a violation of privacy to discuss them openly amongst all contributors.

  • Another consideration is that as we are an open operation, any details that are shared about departures are potentially visible to a former contributor's next employer/project, and it doesn't feel justified for us to make that information public knowledge.

  • We share as much information as we feel is relevant and not more. For example, in the case of layoffs, we have been more open about those as they have been due to our own circumstances as an organisation versus personal factors related to the people involved. In that case, there is a use in sharing that info (to help people understand our financial situation and know who is no longer contributing to Status). Sharing news about e.g. poor performance doesn't necessarily have a benefit to other contributors. We understand natural curiosity, and know it's difficult to accept people leaving without knowing the specifics. You're welcome to start a discussion with your lead or POps if you have any concerns, but what we're able to share might be limited.

How will I know if I'm being considered for being fired?

It depends on the reason for being let go.

  • Redundancy - as these typically involve multiple people and aren't decisions impacted by how well someone is performing, contributors being laid off aren't notified in advance. We aim to let people know as soon as possible after the decision is made to free them up to move on to other opportunities.

  • Performance - we aim to have interventions in advance of ending a contract to let someone know their performance isn't meeting expectations (these will be either discussions with POps or the lead). If there is no subsequent significant improvement in output, the contract will be terminated. If you've had discussions with your lead about underperforming, but are not sure of the seriousness of the situation (is your job in jeopardy versus this being a routine feedback discussion) - feel free to ask your lead directly. It's better for everyone involved to be upfront so that everyone is on the same page and operating under the same assumptions.

  • Misconduct - allegations of misconduct typically require some behind-the-scenes fact checking to verify what actually happened. If you're involved in an incident of misconduct, you'll be asked for your observations and recollections of the event. POps will follow up with you to let you know the next steps. Depending on the severity of the misconduct, this may be a formal warning, through to immediate dismissal.

What are the logistics around leaving Status?

What happens when someone is let go?

  • People Ops will make a plan for letting that person know and will run the plan by the team lead for their input. POps will pick a specific time and date for the discussion, so the lead can get prepared and be available afterwards.

  • POps reaches out to the person to let them know their contract is being terminated, explaining why, and walking through some logistics like final pay, handovers, and last working day.

  • People being terminated are free to message their departure as they want (or not), POps will mention any leavers in the weekly newsletter so that other contributors are informed.

  • The final day will depend on the contract in place - generally speaking contractors have 15 days' notice, and employees (following local legislation) have ~1 month.

  • In cases of involuntary termination, we typically don't ask people to work out their notice period, as it feels fairer to free up that person's time to move on and look for other opportunities. We do, however, pay out the notice period. Work in progress is something that POps will discuss with the departing contributor and the lead, to make sure that anything that needs to be handed over, is.

  • Access to tools and accounts are closed off at the end of the final day (European timezones). If you need to contact someone who's left, ping POps who should have alternate contact details.

  • We ask that every outgoing contributor makes arrangements to hand over their work. If you have any concerns or questions about someone on your team leaving and continuity of work, ping your team lead.

  • A backup is kept by POps of the Google Drive for each former contributor in case there are files that other still need to access.