A German company has made whingeing in the office a sackable offence.
Ramona Wonneberger, head of the Leipzig IT company, Nutzwerk, has introduced a “two moans and you’re out” policy to clamp down on the “negative energy” that she thought was damaging the company.
“Unfortunately, Germans are the world’s most inveterate whingers and bellyachers, particularly concerning things they cannot change, like the weather or a late train,” she said. “I thought I had to do something to change this mentality.”
Employees now have a clause in their contracts which states: “Moaning and whingeing is forbidden… except when accompanied with a constructive suggestion as to how to improve the situation.”
So far three employees have fallen foul of the new rules, including one who left because she said there “was nothing to talk about any more”.
The UK Court of Appeal recently ruled that dismissing someone purely on the basis of their personality was not illegal.
The court rejected a claim for unfair dismissal from a senior employee within an NHS trust who was dismissed because of his behaviour.
Following his dismissal, he claimed compensation as the trust was unable to name any rules that he had broken and he had received no warnings.
But the court ruled that his personality was, in fact, a sufficient reason for dismissal.