Get rid of unpleasant staff!

By D. J. Webb

Dear all,

a short blog on employment rights. There should be none.

The whole jamboree of suing for discrimination and wrongful dismissal (how can a dismissal ever be wrongful, pray???) should go. We need to restore freedom of association. Not only does the current law pin unhappy workers in positions they’re not enjoying — they can’t resign or else they will get no dole — companies also see large amounts of time tied up in pointless personnel issues with people whose presence is a distraction in the firm.

We need to recognise that companies may have any reasons whatsoever to sack staff. Sacking a black person because the manager doesn’t like working with Negroes should be acceptable. Sacking a white person because the ethnic manager doesn’t like English people should also be fine. Getting rid of a woman because she has fallen pregnant should also be legal. Showing the door to a homosexual who likes to flaunt the irrelevant issue at work is more than acceptable; in my view, it is highly commendable.

Companies could vastly reduce their personnel staff and ditch their equal opportunities policies. Those who claim companies that discriminate would lose out on talent could subject that theory to free-market forces: companies that refused to take on talented minority workers would, in this scenario, go to the wall. More likely, however, is that there are incredibly few cases where it matters who fills a particular job, and that no discriminating companies would face any difficulties whatsoever.

We would save money by ending the employment tribunal game, and cutting spending on lawyerly scroungers. To make it palatable, we could require companies to issue a no-fault three-month termination notice, giving the worker time to look for work and allowing some use of work time to write application letters and attend interviews. The worker would leave in good standing. We could officially encourage firms in such situations to provide guaranteees of good references (with no legal comeback from the firms taking those workers on; employee relations at the original firm would be legally defined as a confidential matter). Firms taking on staff could do so in the knowledge they would never have a problem showing workers who didn’t fit in the door.

As long as the benefits system remained, we could also guarantee that person access to the dole, without any of the current nonsense about “intentionally becoming jobless”. I think the dole should be available for limited periods in boom times, and for longer periods in economic slumps — it makes no sense to allow someone to stay on the dole for years in boomtimes. The dole could also be restricted in areas of the country with high job availability, and more easily available in depressed areas. Whatever is done to the social security system, *and this is important*, it should be designed to facilitate workplace turnover, allowing firms to move unsuccessful staff members on.

As far as I’m concerned, Brexit ought to be accompanied by such anti-red tape thinking. Bring it on!


  1. I totally agree with this article.

    On a technical point, it’s unfair dismissal that is the statutory head of claim pursued in employment tribunals, not wrongful dismissal. The latter is simply a common law basis for suing where an employer is believed to be in breach of contract. I assume the author would wish that right to remain in place but for claims of unfair dismissal (and other employment protections) to be abolished.

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