Last month on my blog, I suggested that it might be in the best interests of UK plc to scrap some employment protection rights. That hit a raw nerve with some readers, but many employers and HR managers applauded the suggestion.
Most people will agree that we need a set of basic laws/rights that guarantee, for example, minimum wage and a workplace that is free from discrimination. But do we really need to go any further than protecting those basic fundamental rights?
To cut to the chase, in the absence of a breach of such fundamental rights, why should an employee whom an employer deems to be wrong for the job have any right of redress if they are sacked? In other words, are the feelings and the personal hardship suffered by an individual employee more important than the success of the employer's business and, arguably, the success of UK plc?
As employment law stands, with a healthy helping of good and pragmatic employment law advice (and by ticking the right procedural boxes), an employer can get rid of and get away with getting rid of those employees that it wants to sack. So why bother with the fluffy procedures at all if a well-advised employer can achieve its real objectives in any event?
For example, if employees are performing badly are 'ill' most Fridays and Mondays or are no longer needed because of a downturn in business, why should the employer have to jump through procedural hoops and tick the right boxes before it can do what it had wanted to do in the first instance?
So, should we abolish unfair dismissal law that makes a dismissal unfair if the ill-advised employer forgets to use a prescribed fair reason or fails to follow the right procedure before the employee is sacked?
Let's abolish tiresome statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedures too. Most readers will know that a dismissal is automatically unfair if these statutory procedures are not followed.
Whatever the government's good intention, in the real world, this law (just like many fluffy unfair dismissal procedures) has three main consequences:
Business owners and H