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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Employers' Charter - support for poor management

In his speech today George Osborne confirmed government plans to restrict eligibility for protection from unfair dismissal to people employed for two years and is going to introduce a deposit for taking a case to a tribunal that will be lost if the case is lost.

Can anyone please explain to me precisely what this will do to help whom?

The PM seems to think that industry is riddled with underperformers that are dragging back growth or force their employers through time consuming and expensive tribunals when they have no case are are just angling for a settlement.  I have however never seen any data that backs this up.  On what information is the PM drawing – surely not just the “word” of a few business associates?

Ironically, the only area where I have generally found this kind of problem is in the public sector.

Yes, as always there will be a few chancers, but in my own extensive experience, the incompetence is far more with employers who either do not approach recruitment methodically, fail to make their expectations clear during and after recruitment and do not give employees sufficient guidance and support once in post.  There is nothing wrong with the present legislation for a good employer and it encourages all employers to act responsibly – yes, the process you have to go through can be a bit frustrating at times, but this is a small price to pay.

This legislation effectively sanctions poor management and says “if you cock up recruitment, don’t worry just sack them and try again” and “you can legitimately dismiss someone completely unfairly without any worries”.  What about the poor souls who have moved house, left their roots behind, changed their kids’ schools only then to find they are sacked on a whim with just the limited protection of an employment contract, with no parachute payments or any other safety net?

Does anyone honestly regard this as fair?