I have been wondering for months whether to say this or not. To risk what people will say and think of me if I do. Yet it is something that privately people say to me all the time.
But I am going to say it anyway.
Our employment laws - and the way they have been interpreted by the courts are - I believe, are unjust.
I don't say this just because I am biased (which I am) but also because I actually care about justice.
So these laws...where do I start?
Perhaps most obviously, they make it unreasonably costly and difficult to deal with any kind of issue involving employees, be it organisational change or dealing with underperformance or indiscipline. Everything has to be treated like a legal process (which, of course, it now is, even in the very early stages).
Employers often live in fear of these laws ( I know, I am one). For these laws act as a stealth-tax on our income, time and mission/profit.
I am making a strong claim here so let me make a few statements and see what you think.
1. It should be reasonably easy for a company, or charity, to part company with somebody who isn't delivering their side of the bargain. Shouldn't it? Am I wrong here?
2. It ought to be possible, without a great deal of fuss, or expense, to make reasonable changes to people's jobs to suit the changing needs of users and customers. Wouldn't you agree? But it isn't.
3. It ought to be quite possible for a company trying to stay alive to keep its best people without risking all sort of legal hassle. But it isn't. Quite the opposite in fact.
Instead many organisations are faced with a legal minefield in any of the above situations.
Dodging the mines means expert navigation from HR experts and lawyers. Organisations least able to afford this - like small charities - can end up in a lot of trouble.
Not, I hasten to say, for doing anything particular bad or immoral (not forgetting that some employers are shits). But, quite often, due to breaking fairly minor rules around consultaiton or accommodation to people's sensibilities about what they think their jobs should be.
And I should know because I have been there more times than I like to remember. Indeed in our early days, one such case almost brought down the business.
Yes, the whole future of a charity which now helps 5000 people a year put at risk because the law said we didn't consult someone `properly' about their redundancy. That cost us several thousand pounds we didn't have at the time.
Did the punishment fit the crime here? Was this `justice'? While there are aspects of the American system of capitalism I abhor, its lighter touch on employment law is something I would welcome.
I would welcome opinions, anonymous or not.
But if you do agree, and I believe most people actually do, then let's break this conspiracy of silence and tell the truth as we see it.