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Employment law rights go down the drain

(15 Posts)
Dromedary Sun 18-Nov-12 21:31:18

Our employment law rights are disappearing at breakneck speed. And nobody is able to explain why:- the Government has not bothered to do any research on whether these changes are needed, and ignores the objections they are getting from all sides.

It will soon cost over £1,000 to bring an unfair dismissal claim - and you will not get that money back even if you win. Compensation will be slashed. And the latest proposal is that employers will be able to compel new staff to "sell" some of their most important rights, including the right to claim unfair dismissal, for £2,000 worth of shares, which will in practice most likely be worthless in the hands of the employees.

Discrimination rights remain for the moment, because they come from European Union law. But how long will they last once the Tories take this country out of Europe? The powers and independence of the Equality and Human Rights Commission have already been degraded under this Government, and this has received international attention.

I recently attended a conference at a large law firm, attended by two or three hundred of their business clients. It included a forum of experts representing both employers and employees, and a well known employment lawyer. All without exception spoke out strongly against the reforms.
The audience of business people was asked to vote on the reforms. Not one single person voted in favour.

ParsingFancy Sun 18-Nov-12 21:53:46

Thanks for that feedback from the conference, Dromedary.

I've been watching the removal of employment rights with horror. It's "good" in some sense, to see the experts feel the same. But as for how the changes can be stopped... sad

ttosca Mon 19-Nov-12 00:25:09

They can only be stopped if people put a stop to it through massive protest.

Eventually, we'll need to kick out the sociopaths in government and make sure they're never re-elected again.

SwedishEdith Mon 19-Nov-12 00:34:36

I thought/think these are just the latest nonsense from Osborne. Think he was testing the water by putting the idea out there that workers would happily sell all their employment rights for shares in the company. Of course they would hmm Mind you, some health trust in the NW has or is going to sack all its current staff and then reemploy them of "new" terms & conditions. Nice.

MiniTheMinx Mon 19-Nov-12 13:33:49

Can they do that Swedish? how did you discover that? Do you have a link to the story?

Why only eventually? I agree they can only be stopped with massive protest. I think some joined up thinking needs to happen fairly quickly. What amazes me the most is that private sector workers are just so bloody docile, how to get the private sector workers to wake up.

niceguy2 Mon 19-Nov-12 16:26:54

I'm not sure they would Swedish. We're not like the US. It's unlikely the next Facebook/Google/Amazon will start up in the UK so doubt many employees would give up employment rights for a few shares. We might do it if we were given a sizeable stake in the company in which case it would be difficult to sack a major employee shareholder anyway as generally they'd be pretty key to a startup.

Personally I think it's a whimsical idea which sounds great in the press but in reality will achieve little.

MiniTheMinx Mon 19-Nov-12 16:52:04

George Osborne: "workers of the world unite...and give up your employment rights" Passive aggressive little git.

"Mr Osborne also confirmed reports that he plans to cut _£10 billion from the welfare budget_ by 2016, and disclosed that he would tackle the £16 billion in savings which need to be found with a ratio of _20 per cent in tax rises_ to 80 per cent of public spending cuts.

"The unveiling of new "employee-owner" schemes, _at a cost to the Exchequer of £100 million_ by 2017/18, was one of the few policy announcements of the speech

So we slash employer rights, tax those that remain in work to oblivion and then reward "ownership"

Oh.....hang on, we up taxes in one area but we allow tax free dividends on employee shares......I smell a rat because if you do away with tax on income from shares how long will it be before that right is extended.

"Employees will receive between £2,000 and £50,000 in return for giving up their rights to bring a claim for unfair dismissal, redundancy, _and the right to request flexible working_ and time off for training" how exactly does that accord with Nick Cleggs announcement on flexible working and paternity leave.

Are they schizophrenic as well as sociopathic?

SwedishEdith Mon 19-Nov-12 18:30:45 Here's one story but ot wasn't actually the one I wsa thinking of...

amicissimma Tue 20-Nov-12 13:22:59

"And the latest proposal is that employers will be able to compel new staff to "sell" some of their most important rights, including the right to claim unfair dismissal, for £2,000 worth of shares, which will in practice most likely be worthless in the hands of the employees."

Everywhere I have seen this it was suggested that employees be 'invited' to give up some of their rights. No suggestion of 'compel'.

There are a lot of issues being looked at and I think it's important to try to follow what's going on and raise protest as appropriate. Misrepresenting the ideas just means that anyone objecting to what they 'have heard' is more likely to be dismissed.

Dromedary Tue 20-Nov-12 21:12:50

I remember reading that the proposal was that current employees could be invited to give up their rights for shares, but new ones could be compelled to. It is possible that the debate has moved on since then.

skaen Tue 20-Nov-12 21:24:45

A business can require new starters to give up employment rights in exchange for shares. However, to do this they will need to have an open market appraisal if the value of the shares (I.e not just what they claim) at the start and end of employment plus spend a fair amount of money on trying to draw up employment contracts which deal with this and take account if the fact that it is completely contrary to EU law.

IMO it is pointless and will be taken up by precisely no one. It would only work in a very few start up companies and there the first employees either tend to be mates with the founder (Facebook style) or be very experienced angel types who can pick and choose jobs.

ParsingFancy Tue 20-Nov-12 21:32:02

Depends what you think the point is, and what is meant by the scheme "working".

If the point is to benefit employees, it won't work. Companies already have share schemes for employees, they don't need to remove rights to do this.

If the point is a novel way for employers to circumvent employment law, it may work very nicely if they can get round EU law. (Or we drop out of Europe.)

skaen Tue 20-Nov-12 21:40:41

But the only way thru can circumvent employment law is by relying on something which will a) cost more b) not stand up in court or at tribunal unless they spend a fortune and probably not then and c) mean that people who can choose won't work for them.

I provide legal advice for new/ start up companies and the feedback from all of them is that they may not like employment rights but they won't touch this with a barge pole. Apart from anything else, anyone adopting this is likely to have a much higher turnover of staff as you have to work for 2 years before you can claim unfair dismissal/ redundancy etc. so an employee signs away his rights, works for 2years, quits and hasn't list anything while putting the employer to a fair amount of expense.

The whole thing is deeply stupid and incompetent but I doubt it will be a serious threat to employment rights.

Welovecouscous Tue 20-Nov-12 21:40:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vivalebeaver Tue 20-Nov-12 21:52:36

NHs pay cartel

It's south west, if you google south west Nhs pay cartel there's loads of stuff.

They say they can do it. They're going to make everyone agree to approx 10% pay cut, less sick pay, less annual leave, no unsocial hours pay. They've said if anyone won't agree to the new conditions they'll be fired, then they can be given the chance to be rehired on new terms.

Apparently it's legal. No idea why we have contracts. They're not worth the paper they're written on.

Other Nhs trusts will follow.

In the areas this happens in pay in other companies and organisations will then drop to match. If currently an Nhs administrator earns 18k then other companies will try to offer similar pay to attract staff. If the Nhs worker gets dropped to 16k then future admin jobs in the area will be 16k.

If other Nhs trusts don't follow suit then the south west is going to struggle to attract staff. People would rather work in Wales, the midlands, etc. so the local community suffer.

As everyone's pay drops then shops shut, pubs shut, house prices drop.

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