Something had to be done to stem the flood of applications to Employment Tribunals witnessed in 2010, which increased 56% on 2009 to 236,000. The average cost to employers to defend themselves was £4000.
it is absolutely right that legislation exists to protect hardworking, dedicated employees from those less scrupulous employers. However the balance had been lost, the power placed squarely in the hands of the employee. Employers of all shapes and sizes had become nervous, fearful even, of dismissing an under – performing employee for fear of the repercussions.
That is not healthy. It certainly does nothing to encourage employers to hire. Quite the opposite. It costs nothing for the under-performing employee to launch a claim. That in itself encouraged a whole host of “chancers” to pursue a payout, having been advised by the no – win no fee brigade that they had nothing to lose to pursue a claim. The wasted management time was enormous, the legislative cost vast, nobody wins.
The answer to this has been to introduce the prospect of a fee for employees to fight an unfair dismissal claim. A great idea, certain to prevent any such chancers from trying their luck. Those that know or can be advised that they have a genuine case for unfair dismissal will pursue such a claim and have every chance of winning, rightly so. Employers are afforded a greater degree of protection and will as a consequence feel more confident about the prospect of hiring.
To add to that confidence is the proposal that companies would have greater freedom to dismiss under – performing workers, extending the current period from one to two years. I am not convinced this measure is necessary. If someone is not performing in your business, you know early enough. If they have been performing and after a period of say 12 months that performance starts to tail off, it is managements responsibility to look at the reasons behind that decline and to performance manage that employee back to “health”.
After all, you have invested enough time, money and resource getting them through the door, getting them trained and in to the DNA of your business that it is absolutely right to support them. Still the principle behind the move strikes me as a positive one, business friendly, jobs friendly.
If you are a committed, motivated, hardworking employee you have nothing to fear in the new legislation. I for one applaud these steps. We have allowed an entitlement culture to develop. If something goes wrong, who can I blame? How much can I get?
A nonsense. If you are a responsible, hardworking, decent, honest person then you have nothing to fear in this change. If you are the kind of person who thinks life owes them a living, then I am afraid you are wrong and you will get what’s coming to you.
I am all for the Employers Charter. The reaction from business and employers groups would appear to be broadly supportive. A step in the right direction. Next step, tackle the cost of employing someone and reduce the cost of Employers NIC’s. Now there’s a thought!