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Employment Law shakeup

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CB27
866483.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:16 am Reply with quote

Thought I'd open up this discussion.

A sticking point which I think is completely wrong is the extending of the amount of time you need to work in a company before claiming unfair dismissal, I think it should be on the merit of the claim, and I would like to know the proportion of claims made where employment is less than two years because I think it could affect a lot of people.

The severe reduction in the consultation time for redundancies is another point I completely disagree with. This often affects more mature workers who will find it harder to find work, and I think the last thing we need is to take away the opportunity to find better solutions.

However, the thing that really disgusts me about this is that at a time of rising unemployment we should surely look at making it easier for people to hire people, not sack them. No surprise that Labour have said the same thing, despite the claims of some that they're no longer socialists, the party leaders will be lynched by members if they don't stand up for workers' rights on issues like this.

Another really annoying thing for me is that I've tried to avoid using the old "it's because they're Tories" line in previous discussions about other policies, but this really fit the bill this time, and there's no getting away from the cliche of accusing them of serving businesses and the rich on this one as far as I'm concerned.

TBH, I think the fact Vince Cable is to reveal the plans is the last nail (in a long list of last nails) of him ever being trusted by liberals and socialists, I just don't understand how someone with his background can really support such proposals and agree to be the spokesman for this.

But for now, I'll keep my cards close to my chest and not reveal how I feel about these proposals... :)

 
Neotenic
866497.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:13 am Reply with quote

Quote:
However, the thing that really disgusts me about this is that at a time of rising unemployment we should surely look at making it easier for people to hire people, not sack them


I think we may have to wait and see what the full reform proposals are - naturally, the press has focussed on the negative, but the pre-speech statement from a spokesman said this;

Quote:
We need to make the system simpler for employers and employees. This package will make it easier for businesses when taking on, managing and letting go their staff, while also being fair to workers


...so there may be something more positive in there that has been ignored for the time-being in favour of an attention-grabbing headline.

As far as making it easier to sack people goes, I'm sure pretty much everyone who has worked in larger companies especially has known colleagues who are, effectively, dead weight. People who haven't done anything that would qualify as gross misconduct, but don't really bring anything to the table. But as actually getting shot of them is so difficult, they just sit there, taking up resources and not adding a great deal to overall productivity.

If that person could be removed, they may be replaced by someone much more productive - and, it may be harder for complacency to set in in the broader workforce, raising productivity still further.

Increased productivity leads to increased profits, which in turn can lead to increased growth and then on to increased requirements for staff. Letting someone go in the short term can, ultimately, lead to more jobs overall in the long term.

I think that it is right to do something about the culture of entitlement that has sprung up around people's jobs - in both the private and public sectors. Yes, people have the right of opportunity to work, but once they secure a position, they shouldn't simply get to cling on to it irrespective of their performance in doing it.

Put simply, incentivising employees to work at keeping their jobs, rather than disincentivising employers from trimming the fat seems to me to be a relatively simple and straightforward way to boost overall economic performance, which makes things better for everyone.

 
dr.bob
866514.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:32 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
I'm sure pretty much everyone who has worked in larger companies especially has known colleagues who are, effectively, dead weight. People who haven't done anything that would qualify as gross misconduct, but don't really bring anything to the table. But as actually getting shot of them is so difficult, they just sit there, taking up resources and not adding a great deal to overall productivity.


Must.

Resist.

Obvious joke.

About executive directors.

 
mckeonj
866531.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:07 am Reply with quote

In the previous Depression era, the great incentive to work was that for every man in a job, there were ten men outside the gates looking for work.
In this current Depression, for every man (or woman) in a job, there are ten men (or women) outside the gates not looking for work.

 
suze
866603.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:15 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
A sticking point which I think is completely wrong is the extending of the amount of time you need to work in a company before claiming unfair dismissal, I think it should be on the merit of the claim, and I would like to know the proportion of claims made where employment is less than two years because I think it could affect a lot of people.


That would indeed be a useful thing to know, but it is not one of the pieces of information presented in the excruciatingly detailed Employment Tribunal Statistics which are published each year.

When the Ministry of Justice was asked for this information by Personnel Today, it said that it didn't record this information and hence didn't know. But Vince Cable's office reckoned that in the region of 4% of all unfair dismissal claims were made by persons who had been employed for more than one year but less than two. (It did not explain how it knew this. Reported in Personnel Today on 14 Nov.)

What possibly worries me more is the plan to introduce a charge for access to the Employment Tribunal. Dr Cable has not talked about this today, and the level of the charge has yet to be decided - but at the Conservative Party Conference, George Osborne mentioned a figure of 1,250. (250 to submit the initial complaint. At that stage, about 40% of complaints are summarily rejected, and Mr Osborne mentioned a further 1,000 to continue with the complaint once it has passed that hurdle.)

Now, if the proposal were that there ought to be some kind of administration fee, well I wouldn't complain overmuch. And were that fee 12.50, I could certainly live with it. But if it's going to be one hundred times that amount, only the rich and those in the public sector (because their unions will pay the money) will have access to the Tribunal. If we are to avoid the "It's because they're Tories" line, how do we justify that?

If companies wish to avoid being dragged through the Employment Tribunals, there's an easy way to do it. Don't unfairly dismiss people.

 
suze
866606.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:31 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
TBH, I think the fact Vince Cable is to reveal the plans is the last nail (in a long list of last nails) of him ever being trusted by liberals and socialists, I just don't understand how someone with his background can really support such proposals and agree to be the spokesman for this.


You'd have to imagine that Cameron and Clegg didn't actually give him a choice in the matter.

Right now, the LibDems are between the Devil and the DBS. If the likes of Dr Cable were to stick to their principles and remove themselves from the Coalition Government, we'd have a minority government which would inevitably fall within a few months.

That would lead to a general election in which the LibDems might easily lose every single seat they hold in England. (And since boundary changes in Scotland appear to favour the SNP over the three main UK parties, who knows what might happen there.)

Nick Clegg would inevitably resign as leader, and might conceivably be expelled from the party. His political career would be over (unless he were to join the Tories, perhaps), and so would Dr Cable's.

 
CB27
866655.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:31 pm Reply with quote

Neo, the fact I've not mentioned some of the other proposals is because they're not a sticking issue. I'm not saying you throw out the whole lot, I'm pointing out elements which are very wrong and should not be in there.

suze, I wouldn't be surprised about the 4%, there's currently little or no pressure to fire someone after one year, I just realised it was a silly question on my part, I was actually wondering how many dismissals occur around the 10th-11th month of employment.

 
Spud McLaren
867165.  Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:00 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
... I was actually wondering how many dismissals occur around the 10th-11th month of employment.
There used to be a well-known bookshop in a well-known university town and Charing Cross Road that actually had this as company policy. A few core staff were permanent, but for the rest it didn't matter how well they did at their jobs, they were dismissed before they'd served 12 months. There's no particular reason to think they were unique in this respect.

 
suze
867176.  Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:49 am Reply with quote

Ah yes, the bookshop where the sales assistants were not permitted to handle money, and where titles were arranged by publisher rather than by subject or author.

That particular store has modernized its methods a bit since the formidable proprietrix died in 1999, although it still doesn't have many staff who speak English. And if the proposed changes come to pass, I imagine it will just routinely fire people after 23 months instead of 11.

 

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