back to article Boy George promises to cut employment rights

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is asking employers to get in touch over plans to reform employment law. First in the Coalition sights for reform is discrimination legislation, where the government fears businesses are settling even when faced with weak cases because compensation is theoretically unlimited. Osborne …

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I wouldn't put anything past them, but

"TUPE. These rules implement a European directive" - I don't expect they can touch that, can they?

It's the one about how you actually can't sell your workforce into slavery and then lease them back at a tenth of the cost.

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For information, AC ...

... you can correct a mis-vote by clicking on the button you meant to use (I have done it once or twice!)

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Happy

I didn't know that!

Thanks!

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Anonymous Coward

I'll give you an opinion...

As an RBSer who's just about to be given the boot:

The government should not bail out companies with tax payer's money and then allow them to make tax payers redundant, in prefrence for cheaper offshore jobs.

Also, this doesn't directly affect me, but:

TUPE needs to include pension undertakings as well, rather than being watered down. That way you can't outsource your voice/data/video networks for a 'global upgrade' when you intend to cease the deal down the line and re-employ all your old staff, just with shittier pensions.

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Re: I'll give you an opinion... #

"As an RBSer who's just about to be given the boot:"

So they're transferring your job to India? You have my sympathies.

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FAIL

Doh....

So, the government are asking employers about rights that protect employees?

I'm sure that all employers will want to protect these rights, maybe even extend them (this suit is black not).

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Unhappy

Thanks George!

The cuts in child support (nursery) grants plus cutting the "golden hello" payment to beginning state school teachers makes us £9300 worse off than we'd budgeted 6months ago. On the total of a £34k pre-tax income.

So if I decide not to start in a state school in September --- the specific attraction is gone, indeed -- then my job will anyway be less secure? Just what was needed to build up consumer confidence. Let's calculate where those savings will come from: cinemas (Lovefilm's cheaper), better car (= higher taxes+insurance), days out and domestic trips, replacing 5y old laptops. So that's mostly UK companies that lose my custom.

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WTF? TUPE is nothing to do with government outsourcing

Although it will also apply in that case, it governs employee rights whenever any employer (private or public) transfers part of it's operation to another employer (which has happened to me on average every 3 years since leaving university.

One of it's main effects is to stop large business transferring large numbers of employees to dummy organizations in order to avoid having to pay redundancy (since the new employer inherits accrued service and 'equalised' T&Cs from the old).

If George decides to weaken TUPE then hell have a f***ing fight on his hands.

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A Tory Chancellor

trying to stick it to the working man? Surely not...

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oh goody

the long awaited 'kids up chimneys' bill is on it's way

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WTF?

Why not just bring back workhouse George

Why not just bring back workhouse George and outsource its operation to Foxconn. It could be "staffed" by disability living allowance "scroungers" who because of their life limiting conditions can't actually work and be forced to make iPhones or something.

It will be cheaper than the current Chinese labour used and you could give all "hard-working Conservative voter families" a free iPhone if they keep you in power with free upgrades at every election. It will be good for the economy as once the plebs have tried the iPhone, they will never go back to a Nokia and Apple updates them every year yet you only hold elections what every 4-6 years or something? You'll be kinda like a drug dealer giving the first hit free and all the tax income you make from 4-6 years of iPhone upgrades and app sales will more than cover the cost of all the free phones and solve the budget deficit.

It's a good policy George, you can have it on the house!

Yes! Managed to slag off the Torries, Foxconn and Apple and even throw in some Daily Mail style headlines all in one comment! If only it was actually relevant to the story in question!

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Consultation

I don't think any company, in the history of dumping a workforce, has ever changed its mind during the so-called "consultation period". As with all of these well-meaning pieces of legislation, people will always find a way around them.

To the potential AC teacher, agreed it's a bad situation for you but no worse than the rest of us in the private sector are facing. Wish I got a "golden hello" for any of the jobs I've worked in. I say let market forces dictate wages, if not enough people go into teaching then the government will have to raise wages (relatively). If you can find a job in the private sector that pays more for equivalent work and has a solid guaranteed pension scheme then go for it!

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Sir

"If you can find a job in the private sector that pays more for equivalent work and has a solid guaranteed pension scheme then go for it!"

Whilst I'm not a teacher, most of the one's I've met consider what they do a vocation rather than a job, higher wages and a glossy pension aren't the only motivators in the world. just my TUPEnce (sorry).

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FAIL

To facilitate a more open and flexible workforce?

Georgy Boy will ask a few, ignore most and say that it's for the employers survival if Britain is to achieve speedy recovery - or similar tosh. Everyone to become part-time workers and solve the unemployment figures overnight.

If he gets his way TUPE will equal TUPPED

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Anonymous Coward

Intenions and reality

Whilst the intention of TUPE is decent enough, the effect is that many a time the service delivery doesn't really change with the same old useless staff doing it.

I'm all in favour for abolishment, or to toughen up the intentions in the appropriate places.

But the sceptic in me would think the Government is clever to get rid of this as it doesn't help them truly closing down a lot of their services as the 'work' transfers to a new provider being in the form of another department or a newly formed agency making the cuts almost meaningless.

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Pirate

Do you have a job? Do you have an employer?

Suppose the company (not the government dept) in which you have worked for 10 years gets bought by another company which then makes you redundant after 6 months. Do you think that the statutory redundancy package should reflect:

a) 10 years service

b) 0 years service (as you would still be in 'probabtion' in the new company)

Suppose the company you work for in Newcastle gets bought by a company based in London. They do not make you redundant but instead relocate your job to London (with no adjustment for the cost of living). Do you want to:

a) take redundancy

b) move your whole family from a 3 bed in Newcastle to studio in London.

c) quit, losing all redundancy payments

In both cases, if want the answer to be a then you need TUPE. No TUPE = no statutory redundancy = normal people get f***ed over while the bosses get a nice big bonus.

The regulations have grown more complicated because at various times employers have found ways around them. As such, if they now find them too complicated then they have only themselves to blame and should maybe try NOT f***ing everybody over for a change.

PS: Grrr.... need a red hammer and sickle icon for this bolshie stuff (must be delayed reaction to the royal wedding)

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Do you have a job? Do you have an employer?

Well said, that is exactly the kind of thing TUPE is there for.

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Unhappy

Whats the alternative

Umm, there isn't one but ffs leave TUPE alone....

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Anonymous Coward

Barking boy George

So, our taxes bail out the banks and enable them to keep their huge profits with minimal interference or accountability.

What we get as payback is a return to the days when companies ran roughshod over the worker.

Better still, the consultation for this is going to be with the companies that stand to benefit. Wonderful.

Dear George, 1889 called and asked for its policies back.

(why is there no "crying, wanting to emigrate" icon?)

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Pros and Cons

I dont see any rightful justification for getting rid of Tupe. Firstly, if you outsource a department or company and then decide you want to downsize then you can anyway without any real hindrance. Hand out redundancy and if you are mean, you can pay the legal minimum. Getting rid of dead wood in that environment is easy too. T&C for most employees dont amount to much.

I do think it is legitamatly difficult to get rid of poor performing employees or employees that just dont fit in for whatever reason. Your options are to pay them off, fire them and then going through an expensive tribunal phase or the very worse, keep them on and let them drag the morale down. Almost without exception, the only times i've been critisised for firing someone was from the employees saying I left it too long.

The harsh trush is there isnt a job for life anywhere. The public sector just got a taste of what the private sector being going through for years. We are all in the same boat now. You need to do your job well but even if you do, circumstance could mean that good (even great) people need to be let go. We need some basic laws to protect the employees but I believe they gone too far or more to the point they being abused. This means that employers are more relunctant to take a risk on hiring someone. Now, not only do you face the cost of recruitment, resources required to get them up to speed, maternity liability but they could sue you on some jumped up charge when it turns out they arent right for you. Thats assuming they havnt sued you because you didnt give them the job in the first place. Its BS.

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gone too far?????? Pahhh!!!!!!

What a load of clap-trap! Just because the Daily Goosestep and The Scum make up bollocks stories about a few people taking the piss, doesn't mean the laws need watering down or abolition.

The bad employers are still there abusing their employees even now and they far outweigh the few possible abusers. Don't forget that IT's are quasi judicial not a bunch of tree hugging social workers.

You can tug your forelock and doth your cap to the millionare son of a baron in no11 as he shafts you, I'd rather have a pitch fork and insurrection thank you.

And as for the other point about the Public Sector getting the same treatment as the Private Sector. They were there long before them. Whislt the fat cats and city types were driving their Porches in the 80's, civil servants were being passed over to the private sector only to have all their pension funds swallowed and given to the creditors when the dodgy private company went bust. So no job and up to 40 years pension gone; thanks to Norman Fowler for that one.

Miners, shipyards?

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Stark contrast with elsewhere

In the UK we seem to have this idea that the only way we can strive to be competitive is by ensuring that workers have as few rights as possible, and this suggestion would seem to be the latest in a long line; sooner or later, it won't surprise me at all if someone in government listens to Boris Johnson's suggestion that the rules for strike ballots be made even more stringent than the ones applied to general or mayoral elections.

Meanwhile, the country that has performed best in Europe over the last fifty years seems to have done pretty well without having to curtail so many of the rights of workers, and indeed while signed up to the Social Charter.

It often seems that other European countries take the view that if you treat staff well, they'll behave well, work well and be more productive. The UK approach seems to be that you need to be able to terrify them into submission with the threat of losing their job.

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Sir

"The UK approach seems to be that you need to be able to terrify them into submission with the threat of losing their job."

This is why I turned to contracting. I have no illusions about job security, and if the environment is crap there's always another contract a phone call away. It's risky, but if you know the risks you can account for them and manage them up to a point.

Most permies are blissfully unaware that they are in the same boat as 'tractors, and they don't get paid as well. That is until the hammer falls and they haven't got several months income sitting there for a rainy day.

it is a hard learned lesson and the way things are in the UK I'll never go back to working permie, unless it's decent money and working from home permanently - then I'll emmigrate to somewhere with a decent net connection and better weather and cheaper living costs.

I've met quite a few permies who would make good contractors if only they had the confidence to risk it. One even told me that it was just too risky having to look for work so often. 6 weeks later she was made redundant.

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FAIL

Very Poor Biased Article

Having read the article, press release and comments, the article has been pitched to generate the emotive comments it clear has received.

Apart from the obvious errors (TUPE is for government outsourcing), it leaves out some key details (which I can undertsand some people might be cynical about):

Quote:"Fairness for individuals will not be compromised – but where we can make legislation easier to understand, improve efficiency and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy we will"

Reading the press release, the governments intent is to make it easier to create jobs and growth in the UK, not to make it easier to outsource to other economies - yet the article cynically obscures the point.

The rights of the UK individual worker are critical - I don't want to see them removed. But they are horrendously complicated, and need to be simplified and made easier for the employer AND the employee to understand.

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Re : TUPE is for goverment outsourcing

No. It isn't. It also applies in the private sector.

Get your facts straight instead of trying to lick Osborne's @rse.

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Joke

I'm with the elderly lady ...

Machine Gun 'em all - lol

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Unhappy

Boy Goeorge is asking...

The (ex?)) Chairman of Tesco how to reform employment law. Should get good, well balanced input from him, I'm sure.

No risk of Clegg finding any balls either, that twat is full on for NHS reform despite his posturing,

WABOC.

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Eh?

Hang on! If I leave my job for another one then I take the hit on losing years of service and probably holiday but that's my choice

If my employers decide to transfer me to work for someone else then why should I start from the beginning again? It wasn't my choice to leave.

In principle I generally support the Torys but every now and again they really should remember they are supposed to be governing for the benefit of the people.

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"governing for the benefit of the people"

"In principle I generally support the Torys but every now and again they really should remember they are supposed to be governing for the benefit of the people."

Yeah. People who donate lots of money to the Conservative Party.

People who live (if the tax man asks) in Belize.

I seem to remember that it's actually quite nice there. If you're rich.

Just like here.

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Stop

Quick! Cut employee rights!

Or we'll end up with an economy like Germany!

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Grenade

Screw The Workers

Tory policy as it has always been, and probably always will be.

So... what beats me is why the British workers *vote* for the bastards?

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Sir

"So... what beats me is why the British workers *vote* for the bastards?"

Because this country can only afford to vote Labour once every 50 years.

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But...

It *can* afford a party which gives away all the family silver? It isn't just the workers that screwed.

Now, if you were to argue that "New" labour isn't much better, then you'd have a point.

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Sir

"Now, if you were to argue that "New" labour isn't much better, then you'd have a point."

I was always under the impression that the last labour government (pre-Thatcher) also spunked all our money down the drain - or am I mistaken?

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Here's one I saw up close a few years ago

Company x had an external supplier for their desktop support, said suppliers people were pretty dim and not very pro-active.

My company had placed me onsite as a consultant to manage a desktop upgrade because company x didn't really rate their current suppliers people.

Come contract negotiation time for the desktop support side, my company put a bid in and won. Exiting supplier tried to say that TUPE applied and we should pick up their employees. My company said bugger off and lots of lawyers letters ensued.

Ended up we didn't hire those guys and the world moved on, but the overhead in negotiating/arguing the toss about whether TUPE could be enforced here did take up quite a bit of time and effort.

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standby...

All the code words are there.... typical conservative stuff... waiting for "labour market flexibility" and "individual right to bargain" etc .. this is all about removing the few rights left in the UK labour market for workers.

The Tories cannot help themselves...

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Careless legislation costs jobs

One interesting, and not often discussed, side effect of the watering down of employees rights is that far from helping create jobs in the UK, it can actually end up costing them.

Back in the fag end of the Major administration, the company next door to my partner's workplace was in some difficulty. In fact, they had factories in various places around Europe, and the one in Hoddesdon wasn't the worst performing.

But, thanks to the fact that we weren't signed up to the Social Charter here, and the UK workers had fewer rights, it was the site that got closed, because it was simply easier to ditch the British workers than those elsewhere in the EU.

Now, perhaps this will only happen in the margins, where the savings from easier disposal of UK staff can outweigh slightly worse figures from another site elsewhere, but it certainly does happen.

Remove too much protection from workers and yes, you might make a few companies decide they'll set up here - but largely because they know they can just close down again really quickly. You run a risk not of creating real jobs, but of engineering a situation where the UK is Europe's go-to place for easily disposable temporary labour.

That might look good for the balance sheets, but it's not going to be much fun for the people actually doing the work.

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Goes the other way too

TUPE can force an outsource choice to be offshore, simply because if the jobs go to India, TUPE doesn't apply and the price goes down further.

I've benefitted from TUPE and I'm not against it, but I can see some benefits if the new employer was able to buy out TUPE obligations (or even continuity of employment generally) under mandated terms -- maybe redundo under the old Ts&Cs (with a government floor) would cover it.

Jobs feel like property, and rational employers can motivate employees by acting as if they were, but they're not and the're a limit to the extent that the state should join in the pretence. We all need to move on from the idea that employers are our friends -- they are contract counterparties, and that's really all.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't think you understand what TUPE is for

If your job gets outsourced to India and you get made redundant then normal redunancy law applies. You are due notice and a tax free redundancy payment based on your length of service.

Without TUPE your job still gets outsourced to India, but instead of making you redundant the old employer transfers you to a shell company, you lose your continuity, the shell company shuts down, you get nothing.

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Stop

It is as if the last 20 years never happened.

The current government have picked up exactly where Thatcher left off. Kill any workers' rights, dismantle the NHS, and make us like that haven of sanity, the USA. (I'm deliberately not including Major's premiership, because he at least slowed down the descent into Ayn Randism).

We desperately need a real socialist party (i.e. slightly left of centre with a real belief in social goods, not the bunch that Millipede leads) to give people like me the chance to have our opinions. The LibDems were the hope of many, and they could still regain *some* credibility if they would pull out of the coalition with the greedy boys. However, I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen - it would require courage, which they don't seem to have (maybe yellow is their chosen colour for a reason).

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Just in time

For the big NHS sell off.

A huge cheap labour force for the private sector to be able to drive down the cost of wages.

I smell a huge rat here.

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FAIL

A Tory is a Tory is a Tory,

even in the guise of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, but George Gideon Oliver Osborne need not and cannot be disguised. Nobody says it better than the inimitable Ros Asquith :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/cartoon/2010/dec/06/royal-wedding-skinflint-bosses

Henri

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Grenade

Cutting costs

High unemployment, lack of job security, reduced rights in the workplace make it easier for companies to pay low wages. All based on "if you don't like it, there are thousands of others who'll be happy to take your place".

It's the Tory way. Always has been, always will be.

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