Although I understand there is a need to protect employees from unscrupulous employers, I have more than a nagging feeling that employment legislation has all gone a bit mad and now makes it almost impossible for the litigation-conscious employer to oust an employee who (not to put too fine a point on it) is either useless or a complete twat.
A couple of years ago, I had the misfortune to work with an individual who was utterly and completely useless at the job for which they were employed and it took over three months of documenting goals, targets and other such nonsense before being able to tell this individual that they weren’t doing the job for which they were employed and therefore their probation period (yes, I said “probation period”) was not going to be converted into permanent employment. All this for fear of a claim for unfair dismissal (let’s make sure we get all our ducks in a row). WTF?
So in a situation where an employee has become somewhat lax in their working hours (turning up 5/10 minutes late in the morning, taking extended lunch breaks, etc.,) which, in a small office, is rather galling to those employees who do (more than) their hours, often going beyond what is specified in their contract. So – wouldn’t you think that the employer may address this issue? A chat is had with the individual concerned who comes out with a comment that other people in the office take longer lunch breaks occasionally (yes, that’s because that person frequently works out of hours/weekends and puts themselves out for the company or customer) and because of this type of retort, the only way to enforce working hours for one problematic individual is to tar everyone with the same brush and ensure that we all work the same hours with the allotted hour for lunch, despite the fact that most people have been doing a variation on flexitime for a number of years.
How in the world does this make any sense at all? Can common sense not be employed where the individual is told to stop being such an immature twat (perhaps in slightly less inflammatory terms) and to knuckle down and get on with it or else they will be out on their sorry arse?
When did we start getting so shit scared of speaking our minds because of the potential threat of litigation?
What’s the worst that’s going to happen? The company gets taken to a tribunal and requested to explain themselves and provide documentation. “I kept a diary of comings and goings over a specified period of time, had a word with the individual concerned. They refused to be reasonable so we kicked them out to stop them pissing off our other employees with their unreasonable behaviour” Doesn’t that sound fair?