Britain Will Never Succeed In Manufacturing Until We Get Rid Of Industrial Tribunals

lawyers – the people who get happy while making trouble in the workplace, while businesses are left leaderless, as a result.

I started my business in 1977. It was a very worrying time, and exciting at the same time. Days could be spent in the slough of despond with no orders, or customers not paying, or in ecstasy if a big order was won or paid for. It was a father and son affair at the start, but as orders grew and became more consistent we employed staff.

Sometimes an appointment was successful, and the person appointed exceeded expectations, but occasionally a person was unable to achieve speeds or quality, and there was unfortunately no way to keep them on. In those days such a decision was made at the discretion of the employer. I would explain to someone if they were not cutting the mustard, and that a faster speed was required, or whatever the complaint was, and that if after training, they could not do what was required, they left.

Take the situation today. In many workplaces there are people wilfully not working, well aware that it is extremely hard to dismiss staff, and many bosses are tiptoing around them, reluctant to get involved.

In most workplaces today, someone has turned round and sued the bosses once they are dismissed, maybe for unfair dismissal, or even constructive dismissal when they haven’t been dismissed. They can raise any number of accusations for things like bullying, discrimination and a host of other things. They will find they can get legal aid, a barrister and expect to win a settlement.

The effects are mostly all negative. The person suing the employers gets a reputation,usually for telling lies, as most cases in courts are brought with a whole number of these being told by the claimants. They often end up leaving the area where they live, especially if it is a small community as they find their former friends turn away from them. They also might find it harder to find a new job, as word gets around employers one way or another, that the individual who brought the case has made a few insupportable statements.

Another very serious effect is that younger people who might previously been happy to get a promotion are nowadays most reluctant to take on any position that involves handling staff. Many businesses have to shrink, or close purely because they cannot get any one willing to manage staff any more.

The net effect on employers is that they reduce their numbers of staff and stop investing in job creation.

Only in jobs where people can be trained in a short time, is it viable to take on the lawyers, jobs such as supermarket check-outs, hamburger flippers, call centre operatives and so on. Only where the work can be simply specified and performance simply measured, is it legally safe to employ and therefore occasionally fire staff. In a manufacturing or more technical environment, defining failure is much harder, and it is unlikely to be understandable to the non-technical people who sit on Industrial Tribunals, who are usually more politically inclined.

It is easy for a cunning employee to always have a plausible excuse as to why they are spending time chatting to other operatives, not starting their equipment working and so on. And such a type will have no hesitation running straight to a lawyer if they were fired for a general charge of ‘not helping out’ others who are stretched, or not telling people what’s going on when it might have been helpful. Dissatisfaction can be hard to prove to a sceptical Industrial Tribunal luvvie, but only too easy for everyone who actually works with the perpetrator to fathom.

I have seen thieves who’ve got away with stealing from their employers rewarded with big payouts even when records have been clearly falsified. What does this all do to the morale of fellow workers who have seen them buy a bigger house or take expensive holidays, funded through crime, and then they get a reward from an Industrial Tribunal as an extra bonus?

Maybe Britain doesn’t want any more manufacturing to be done at home.

It is much easier just to flip hamburgers, work in supermarkets and live on social security. But if anyone would like the country to make a few things requiring skills that take years to accumulate, longterm investment and dedication, there is just one little matter that needs tidying up first.

Industrial Tribunals which create no advantage and only trouble for our society will have to all be closed. Managers will have to be given back their authority in the workplace.

OK David Cameron?

UPDATE – The USA has over 10% unemployment, and it’s getting worse. See HERE. It’s time to get lawyers out of the workplace if people want jobs. This is the simple question people need to be asked – do you want employers or lawyers looking after you? You cannot have both.

The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.
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15 Responses to “Britain Will Never Succeed In Manufacturing Until We Get Rid Of Industrial Tribunals”

  1. Good post.

    It’s time for the left to understand that the only right to have a job is if it’s accompanied by the productivity that pays the wages.

    Employment is symmetric, barriers to sacking staff are barriers to employing staff.

  2. Paul says:

    One of the problems is it is zero risk. I contacted a lawyer who told me he could do the case, but it would cost me roughly the same to do it as it would to pay the bloke off, and I wouldn’t get costs if I won. (I did it myself with some help from him ; it was a draw basically)

    When I was waiting for the tribunal there was another employer who was being sued. He employed almost exclusively drivers, and his former employee had got himself very drunk and got caught driving, and had a very long ban (quite surprised said employee wasn’t jailed) ; still he got taken to a tribunal.

    The first point is the main one. If you have zero risk scrounging claims, then people will make them. Perhaps if losing costs were paid by the employee and/or their Lawyers it might make them think twice about it.

  3. tapestry says:

    Two good comments. Thanks –

    I like that sentence –

    barriers to sacking staff are barriers to employing staff.

    That should be used. (maybe it is being!)

  4. Robin says:

    Gree with the main thread , but would like to say I`ve been on both sides (employee and employer ). I`ve noticed that any advice or observations given is ignored unless a “meeting” or suit and tie brings it up.
    I`m waiting for an accident to happen at a certian hospital, to a dischaged patient or member of the public. Then there will be an inquiry , all to note what I ponted out but got ignored.

  5. tapestry says:

    Robin, why wait for an accident? Blog it.

    Tell.

    Which hospital? What hazard?

  6. in da hood says:

    us unemployment is more like 20% tap. use the u6 measure, or have a look at http://www.shadowstats.com/ for more accurate figurz

  7. BrianSJ says:

    Has it reached the point where it is actually a breach of the Companies Act to employ people rather than sub-contract? Do the risk assessment and try to justify employment. Wildly irresponsible.

  8. Twig says:

    Agree with the general thread.
    I think it’s the creeping effect of political correctness that has turned the tribunals into a no go area, but having seen Cameron’s track record on PC issues I won’t be holding my breath.

  9. tapestry says:

    Hey Twig. I’ve told you before. Elect Cameron. Then campaign for Graham Brady to be Chairman of the 1922 Committee. If Cameron doesn’t perform, his lead will collapse in the opinion polls.

    Activists can then campaign for his replacement with a proper Conservative.

    That is a strategy.

    All this vote for UKIP stuff is childish nonsense.

    Let’s be the winners for once. Elect Cameron. Then get rid of him. (assuming he’s not a performer). He’ll be an employee on a trial. That’s all.

    Come on you Ukippers. Get in the game.

  10. Sorry, I’m a get it right first time kinda person.

    No vote from me for DC.

  11. tapestry says:

    Sorry, Anticitizenone – yes that is the right word for those that miss this chance.

    Vote for a non-Cameron and get what?

    No chance other than more of the same.

    Or

    vote for Cameron and get a double chance.

    Either he becomes what we all want, or he is replaced with another Conservative who is.

    Politics is not for Perfectionsists.

  12. Robin says:

    Tapestry,

    I have to protect my customer, even from his own follies.
    Today for a different customer I had paperwork with two incorrect phone numbers and was “put through” or “reconnected ” THREE times after ther original dialed number.Twenty minutes of music and recorded advertisements.

    No doubt your family business will be efficient as mine was. Big businesses (household names here )seem to survive by nothing other than placement in the market and reserves of money.

    Seems the same with the large parties.

  13. Avril King says:

    I agree. The bosses who are real bullies have pretend “grievance procedures” and the people who are designated to deal with the grievance are themselves bullied into making the “right” outcome.

    In my case I got my own back by sending an e-mail from home on a Sunday, saying I wouldn’t be back on the Monday.

    (Try to have another job lined up before you do it; in my own case, I was able to arrange my state pension retirement date to suit me.)A wonderful feeling, and no lawyers profited.

  14. Misty Thackeray says:

    Actually!.lol. As someone who has been on both sides of an industrial tribunal as an employer and an employee i really can’t see why we should do away with them?.

    I have had to take an unreasonable employer to task on two previous occaisions and have myself as a director been taken to tribunals by three “scammers” in my time..i came out of all … See more these cases the victor. Employees do need some protection from the unscrupulous employers..and likewise employers from the unscrupulous employee..and in my experience tribunals seem to take a pretty balanced view of cases. As an employer one of the best things i ever done was to engage a specialist employment law consultancy which designed and administerd all of my HR functions with the result of effectively eliminatiing potential problems at the recruitment stage and providing damage limitation further down the line ( refer to the 5 P’s principle) these services are provided on a flat rated annual fee basis..which we simply absorbed into our standard overheads and whilst that did cost us an extra few grand each year the savings were priceless..and as an old business mentor once told me..”never undersell because if you are working with margins to tight to allow for such costs you are obviously using a failure based model”..though unfortunately far to many businesses these days don’t heed this wise advice.

    Another piece of sage but very hard to take on board advice i got from these consultants was..”never take stuff like tribunals personally..it’s only a hazard of being in business..let logic decide who you fight or who you pay off..then suck it up and crack on”. I’d sum all this up by saying that as someone with over 25yrs snr managerial and directorial exp..if i wanted or needed to be rid of someone..even in a fully unionised closed shop..it’d be so easy i wouldn’t pause for breath in the process..where theres a will theres a way.lol.

  15. tapestry says:

    MT. But you are failing to think about the effects on staff. They don’t want liars and thieves to be give easy pay-offs.

    You are making the mistake of thinking of business as purely a money-making machine. It is a community of people who have strong moral feelings.

    If business was only about money, sure. Pay criminals for quick release. But your moral authority is gone.

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