How do I offboard Team Members correctly and compliantly?

Callum Sweeney
Callum Sweeney
  • Updated

There are many reasons why a Team Member may need to be offboarded: perhaps they’ve decided to resign, their fixed-term contract has come to an end, or you as our customer no longer require our services or that of the Team Member.

Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to know and follow the correct offboarding process for the market in which the Team Member operates. As your global employment partner, we will help you handle these situations correctly to ensure a smooth and compliant transition, protecting both your company and Oyster.

This resource outlines how the employment relationship works, why it’s important to follow the proper process for termination, and how we can work together to ensure it’s always handled in the best possible way.

Your company, Oyster, and the Team Member—how it all works

First, let’s review how employment works between the three parties involved: you as a customer, the Team Member, and Oyster as your global employment partner.

When you engage a Team Member through our platform, it means that Oyster (or a local partner) becomes the employer of record. In other words: your company partners with Oyster; Oyster employs and manages the Team Member; and the Team Member provides services to your company. The hiring, paying and ongoing care of your Team Member will always flow through Oyster, and the Team Member’s services to you will continue for as long as you continue with Oyster.

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It’s important to remember that Oyster (or a local partner) is the employer of the Team Member. That’s why termination has to be handled by Oyster, and cannot be done by the customer directly. The same applies to resignations, which must be addressed to Oyster.

The risks of incorrectly handled terminations

When Team Members are engaged through Oyster, it is always done in compliance with the local employment laws and regulations of the country where the Team Member is located. Every country has its own rules around employment contracts and terminations. For instance, there might be a minimum notice period before letting someone go. There might be financial obligations, such as severance pay, or payment for unused annual leave, and so on.

In instances where Oyster must offboard a Team Member providing services to you, it's crucial that we do so in compliance with local law—and we need your help to get it right. If we don't, it could expose both you and Oyster to unnecessary risk, including allegations of unfair dismissal or unfair treatment, which could cost time and money for both you and Oyster. In addition, any public dissatisfaction expressed by the Team Member could result in reputational damage to you and/or Oyster.

Following the correct process means we will work together to ensure that everything is handled appropriately, avoiding all unnecessary risks.

The proper process for offboarding

The offboarding process begins with gathering information. Once we receive notification that you want to terminate a service agreement, we will contact you for the necessary details.

After informing you about our process, Oyster or the local partner will reach out to the Team Member to initiate the offboarding process. Sometimes the process is relatively straightforward once Oyster has spoken with the Team Member. However, there may be instances where the proposal to terminate requires negotiation or extra consideration. We will keep you updated, and will reach out to you to discuss the situation or request with the goal of finding an amicable, compliant solution. Once all parties have agreed on the way forward, Oyster will prepare the paperwork for signatures.

Oyster's terms and conditions require the customer to provide 30 days’ notice prior to terminating a service agreement. Keep in mind that in some cases, local laws may prevent Oyster from terminating employment in less than 30 days. We aim to complete the process in two weeks (after we have received our 30 days' notice), but how long it takes might vary depending on the details of the particular situation.

Things to keep in mind

In addition to the process outlined above, here are some important things to keep in mind regarding terminations.

First, be sure to inform Oyster as soon as possible, and share as much detail as possible. We require 30 days’ notice as outlined in our terms and conditions, the only exception being situations of gross misconduct. If the situation concerns poor Team Member performance, loop us in as soon as possible. It can be helpful for us to start recording feedback early so that we can handle things in the best possible way. Do not speak to your Team Member about offboarding without talking to Oyster first. Remember that as the employer, it’s Oyster’s responsibility to handle the termination.

Secondly, keep in mind that there will likely be costs associated with offboarding. Depending on the Team Member’s country, there might be requirements for severance pay, payment for unused annual leave, etc. Talk to our team to find out the details of potential offboarding costs for your specific situation.

Finally, at-will termination is rarely an option around the world. Offboarding takes time and effort, depending on the jurisdiction and the Team Member in question, so always provide advance notice so we can work with you to set up a strategy and approach for how to handle the situation.

By working together, we can find the best solution that will work for everyone involved and avoid unnecessary legal risk.

Further information and support

For more information about notice periods, probation, and different offboarding scenarios, see Managing Team Member offboarding.

To learn how to initiate the offboarding process on the Oyster platform, see How can my company notify Oyster about a termination?

If you need help with handling a Team Member termination, please contact Oyster support to start the process correctly.