- 28-04-2012, 13:35 #21
I once spent months getting rid of an under-performing worker through the correct methods - warnings, help, performance appraisals etc. He was genuinely not capable of doing his job and cost the company serious money in terms of damage to equipment, etc.
We were then taken to an industrial tribunal and greeted by a smiling 'no-win, no-fee' lawyer who said we could settle for £5K out of court or spend £10K fighting and winning the case in front of the tribunal. We settled because it was cheaper to the business - and despite the worker not deserving it.
[This is a slightly simplified version - but the basics are correct]
I would rather have paid the guy I got shot of £5K up front to go 'no fault' than waste a lot of my (and the companies) time dealing with the legal preparation, making additional statements, etc. I also would have saved a lot of damage because in order to prove he was not capable of the job, I had to continue letting him ruin equipment.
I don't disagree with you in principle. The mechanisms do exist to get rid of under-performing workers. But those same mechanisms are being exploited in ways those who framed the legislation didn't anticipate - like the no -win no-fee lawyer I encountered. He made it pretty clear my client didn't have a leg to stand on - but that it would be cheaper to settle than fight. Like most businesses we settled. £5K 'no-fault' is cheaper than £10K and a rosy glow of satisfaction for winning the case.
- 28-04-2012, 13:38 #22
If an employer does not have sufficient confidence that they are capable of employing staff and then behaving within the confines of the law in their dealings with them, then they are probably not fit to be employing people and fully deserve to have their profits eroded.
The idea that employers should be exempt from legal compliance because they are fearful that they might break the law is not a particularly good reason for repealing the laws!"If a terrorist organisation wanted to knock out the moral compass of Britain, all they'd have to do is to kill 100 celebrities at random. The entire country would have an instant nervous breakdown."
- 28-04-2012, 13:39 #23
- 28-04-2012, 13:40 #24
You should not believe everything a lawyer tells you! Most of them are lying, swindling bastards."If a terrorist organisation wanted to knock out the moral compass of Britain, all they'd have to do is to kill 100 celebrities at random. The entire country would have an instant nervous breakdown."
- 28-04-2012, 13:46 #25
But even allowing for the fact that bad management can lie behind the problem, there has to be a mechanism to get rid of the 'worst-case' under-performing workers without going through all the rigmarole of formal disciplinary procedures and industrial tribunals. Lets be blunt about it - getting rid of a poorly performing worker is a big distraction from making a company run as efficiently as possible. Given the choice, most managers would want to devote their time to problem solving/expanding their order book.
I've run everything from small companies to large departments. I don't want to waste my time on the formal way of getting rid of an under-performing worker if there is a simpler 'no-fault' way of getting rid of that worker - that provides fair compensation to that worker. I have to think of the wider needs of the business - and the other people who depend on it for a living. They deserve consideration too...
- 28-04-2012, 13:51 #26
And it's "you're fired", not "your fired".The sand of the desert is sodden red-
Red with the wreck of the square that broke
The gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed its banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks-
"Play up! Play up! And play the game!"
- 28-04-2012, 13:52 #27
The current system is perfectly adequate. If you are incapable of producing evidence to justify the fact that you have taken a decision which will potentially have a severe impact on the life of the person you have taken it against, then you shouldn't be employing people."If a terrorist organisation wanted to knock out the moral compass of Britain, all they'd have to do is to kill 100 celebrities at random. The entire country would have an instant nervous breakdown."
- 28-04-2012, 13:53 #28
But in management, there never is enough time to consider every decision carefully. Would the lawyer have made good his threat and dragged things out in front of the tribunal? Who knows?
I did what 90% of managers/business would do. Took the apparently cheaper option of settling out of court and went back to my day job of making the best profit I could for the department I ran. Paying out £5K wrote off (lets say) one months profit. Winning and writing off £10K would have written off two months profits.
That's the way the world works...
- 28-04-2012, 13:56 #29
- 28-04-2012, 14:12 #30
Let be blunt about what this was - it was de facto blackmail by my ex-employee's lawyer. Pay up a small amount now - or risk a bigger amount later. I (and our solicitor) talked to the directors of the business and we decided to settle. I have heard similar anecdotal stories from other businesses. If there are chinks in any system, there will always be unscrupulous people to exploit them. Don't get we wrong - I think there should be right of redress for unfairly treated employees, but good intentions can be perverted by ill-intentioned lawyers. A lot of no-win, no fee lawyers make their income by settling out of court in this manner - not by fighting unjust cases in it.
That why I think there should be no fault redundancies. My ex employee would still have walked away with (say) £5K but it would have been a lot simpler for both sides.
It is not sufficient to set up a system that works well when operated by people of good intent on both sides. You also have to set up a system that cannot be exploited by the unscrupulous. To do that - while still keeping the system simple and effective - is a difficult task.