There are moves afoot to end the protected status of deadwood, in that employers are to be allowed to sack freeloaders without giving any reason.
I agree that letting the lazy buggers claim compensation when they're sacked for not doing what they're paid to do is silly. In a contract, you get paid to do something and if you're not doing it, the employer should be allowed to tell you to get lost.
Those who are self-employed are aware of this already. If someone contracts me to do a job and I don't deliver, they don't actually need to sack me. They can just refuse to give me any more contracts. It is in my interest to deliver within the stated time frame even if the results are not what the employer wanted to see. Those who appreciate my honesty will be keen to employ me again. Those who want me to fudge things to fit their agenda, I don't want to deal with again.
If I wasn't honest, I'd be rich, but then I'd have to do a post here on myself.
So okay, fair enough, employers should be able to sack wasters who aren't doing what they're paid for. This new idea goes too far the other way. Why give no reason? If the reason is that the employee is not fulfilling their contract, surely that's a valid reason to dump them?
If you don't need a reason, then at times of belt-tightening, employees will snipe and squeal that someone isn't working even if they are. It will be 'If I don't get him sacked, then it might be me' time. The Deadwood Posse will hunt down those the workforce don't like whether they are productive or not. If a business has five employees, the boss is likely to know who is the facebook-tapping clockwatcher, but if it has hundreds, the boss will be dependent on reports. Dependent on squealers.
Commenters in the Mail include those who want this applied to smokers first. What gives it away as an ASH astroturf is that everyone believes that every smoker in every business takes ten minutes every hour for a smoke break, like a bunch of clones. Smokers are the lazy ones, while the antismokers spending work time on the Mail website to complain how they have no spare time because the smokers aren't pulling their weight are the productive ones.
Should I ever be in a position to employ people, one of the interview questions will ask about their attitudes towards smoking. If they are antismokers they don't get the job. I am not paying people to spend time online whining about how much they have to do. I'd rather they took a smoke break and came back to do some real work.
If I have 60 samples to deal with, smoke breaks are at 15, 30 and 45. Not timed. When you have to do exactly the same thing 60 times it is essential to take breaks and it is important to know when they'll be. Those samples have to be done on the day they arrive so anything that pushes you into working faster is good. If there were two of us, breaks would be at 30 and at the end. The work would be done.
If I ever had to sack someone I would consider it good manners to give a reason. Even if that reason was no more than 'The business has no money', there should be a reason. The idea of tapping someone on the shoulder and saying 'You. Out' with no explanation sounds a bit too Victorian for my tastes.
The old way, whereby the useless could claim a wad of cash when sacked for being useless, was no good. This new way, when anyone can be sacked on a whim for no reason, is no good either. The ideal lies somewhere between.
What is really surprising is that, given the events of recent days, Cameron thinks this is a good idea. Has the man no connection with reality at all?