EMPLOYERS MUST BE ABLE TO FIRE BEFORE THEY CAN START HIRING!

5 07 2011

The idea that the private sector must grow, and grow fast and, by doing so, bail the country out of its current economic woes, seems to have become de facto recession busting policy. The idea is that this growth will not only create wealth but also save us from 1980s unemployment levels, as thousands of civil servants are decommissioned to cut costs. In theory this strategy sounds plausible.

So why don’t we get on with the hiring and get the recovery on the road? I’ll tell you why: it’s because when I hire someone I’m obliged after a couple of months to give them an employment contract. The problem being that once said contract is in place getting rid of them (should they not make the grade) without facing a hefty employment tribunal claim, is practically impossible.

One of the reasons why the public sector has become so ungainly and inefficient in the first place is because for years it has been allowed to hire endlessly without ever jettisoning those who weren’t up to snuff. Thankfully the government is attempting to sort this situation out, so surely it would make good sense not to allow it to develop in private industry?

That’s why I think two years is a much more reasonable length of time for someone to be in a job before they must be offered a contract by right. I’m not saying that should be the case all the time, but offering a contract, complete with all the benefits that go with it should be the choice of the company paying the wages. In short we need far more freedom to be able to fire people who are unable to carry out their jobs to a satisfactory standard.

Now I’ve got that off my chest I’d like to add that if we can radically reform employment law along these lines, so that things aren’t so heavily stacked against the employer, many more, not less, people would end up in work.

The reason being by removing the potential hazards (and costs due to the potential of losing tribunal cases) of getting an employment decision wrong would be far less. And what’s more, the slackers, and everyone’s had a few on their books over the years, who toe the line for a few months, but once over their probation period, become disruptive and work-shy, would surely become extinct. Now there’s an environment where we might have a much better chance of tackling the recession.

Charlie Mullins

Charlie@pimlicoplumbers.com

http://www.pimlicoplumbers.com








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