Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Shock horror! H and S goes mad!

I was told today by an employment judge in Bedford that i was not allowed to plug in my laptop unless it had been PAT tested!

Why I thought was that? Perhaps if the machine I had become so reliant on to record evidence self combusted we could all be in huge trouble. Surely PAT tested appliances mean that they will not self combust but usually this protects us from machines burning us alive in our sleep not in broad daylight where if the thing did catch fire there would be several witnesses, a panel and 2 representatives prepared to throw themselves on the inferno??? Blast those technocrats!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Worrying Return to the 80s

In a misguided attempt to perk up the small business sector The Government is unravelling a system which has worked well for over a decade. Firstly, we have been told that an employee has to wait 2 years before he or she can claim unfair dismissal. This may reduce the number of complaints to a tribunal slightly but leaves an employee exposed to bullying. We all know that a demoralized workforce leads to less productivity. Other mechanisms could have been used to decrease the number of complaints such as the imposition of an obligatory deposit to be paid for the losing employee.

The Government, we heard from The Prime Minister's lips, is now set to continue on it's myopic parade by unveiling another elephant trap for the poor employee, the 'confidential employer/employee 'discussion'. We know what the Government is getting at here. At the moment if a boss takes an individual into a dark room 'for a chat' if it relates to a disciplinary matter, an employee is entitled to have a fellow employee or union rep present. There is also a rule that if an employee is told that he might as well leave or is not pulling his weight it is seen as 'a vote of no confidence' by the employer and the employee can leave over it.

Well Mr Cameron in a speech heard last week, seems to be suggesting the usurpation of the tribunal in favour of back room chats. Where are the unions when we actually need them?

Charles Price Barrister