'Dead hand of fear'
It is anticipated that the most controversial concept contained in the formal submission, created by Adrian Beecroft, who wants employers to be able to sack staff at will in an effort to kick-start the economy, will be killed off later today. His report suggests that "no fault dismissal" should apply to micro companies employing fewer than ten staff. Apart from Vince Cable's warning to ministers that the proposal would leave the 'dead hand of fear' hanging over employees, reports seem to indicate that the evidence so far shows little support among British businesses for the proposal.
Flexibility = Prosperity
David Cameron is right when he suggests that it is in everybody's interest (apart from a tiny minority of skivers) that our labour market is more flexible, even more so if we want to create prosperity and increase our share of world trade. A flexible workforce will create greater job security because our products and services will be more competitive meaning more sales and in turn greater prosperity.
A flexible labour market though, is not and should not be a licence for lousy or weak management to behave like monsters and treat their workforce as flotsam by enabling them to dismiss employees without "fault'. Good, decent and skilled managers should treat their staff as they would treat their customers. No fault dismissal is a disgraceful proposition and would only appeal to companies and individuals not worth working for, the 'hire and fire brigade' of get rich quickies but long-term losers. Managers should treat their employees with dignity and treat them, as they themselves would expect to be treated.
People don't leave companies they leave people
I mentor and train managers to be leaders. In my experience very few have ever been trained in basic people management skills, a result of our willingness to reward diligent and loyal work with endless promotions to positions an individual is often not prepared for. Projection into roles you are not ready or trained for has a negative ripple effect; the promoted employee becomes stressed, their productivity and efficacy begins to drop, whilst their subordinates become secondary, undirected, demotivated and ultimately dissatisfied with their job. This simply is why people don't leave companies they leave people. This idea is today reflected by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development who agree that no fault dismissals would give employers a "licence for bad practice".
Let's not get distracted..
I would agree therefore with Terry Scuoler, the EEF chief executive that the focus really should be on positive labour reform and not allow the fatuous 'no fault dismissal' notion to distract the urgent needs of UK business and manufacturing. I embrace for example, the recommendation to try and streamline the employment tribunal system, which really is a time and money consuming disaster for British commerce and so weighted in favour of the crooked rogue and dishonest employee. The five-point plan in the Beecroft report has some great benefits for all the working population and amazingly this includes managers who generally work a darn site harder than the so-called workers.
Rest In Peace 'No Fault Dismissal'...
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