Sunday, 8 March 2009

Increasing Claims at the Employment Tribunal


At the end of March I am delivering a two-day course for UNISON in the West Midlands on handling member's cases around capability reviews.

I was reminded this morning as I read The Observer of the long tradition of employers using the capability route as one to unfairly dismiss employers.

The article in today's Observer ( documents a marked increase in the number of ET claims for unfair dismissal (and related issues) as a result of employers looking for alternatives to paying redundancy pay.

A group that is particularly in the sights of employers are women returning to work following maternity leave. The CAB reports in the article of an increased demand for their services but having to operate in a climate where legal aid is not available to assist ET claims.

On the slightly positive side the article strongly promoted trade union membership as the greatest defence against inapppropriate employer behaviour.

Can I ask what the climate is at your workplace and whether you could see your employer using a spurious route rather than one of redundancy?




Peter Chigana said...

Hello Ian,

Sorry for not being here for some time.

I am very interested to comment on a view from outside the UK.

Just today the World Bank is saying that millions of people in the developing worlds will end up in extreme poverty - living with in just pences a day.

I can understand your concern about the situation of workers in the UK - but what of peoples without your protections.

As we have spoken of before peoples in the UK need never starve or be homeless.

Please be in touch.

Yours in God


Ian Manborde said...

Hi Peter,

How is Nairobi?

Thanks for your contribution here.

Of course I understand that for billions of people the implosion of capitalism will have different effects.

And indeed that for peoples in developing countries the impact will be the greatest.

What you can surely appreciate however is that, if we take a redundant worker in Oxford as an example, there is little value in saying to him/her that 'don't worry it would be worse if you live in Kenya!'

The point surely is that we say that workers across the globe suffer equally and that a response that recognises differential impact is required.

Please reply.



Emiliano said...

Same old s**t just a different decade.

Nothing is new just the climate we are in and the excuse the boss gives you to lay you off.

Imagine, they can now blame capitalism!

Ian Manborde said...

Dear Friend,

Many thanks for your comments.

You always manage get to the central issue at play.

Keep in touch.


ToadBoy said...

Things are extrenely tight where I am as management have just announced the start of a four-day week from April 1.

As you can imagine everyone is shit-scared of losing their job.

This is having a terrible effect on morale.

From a union point of view we've had several members leave.Not because they are unhappy (many are though and think we have been too weka) but beacuse they need the 10-12 pounds beacuse of what they are losing.

As a steward I will still represent them though as I know they would be in the union if they could afford it

Sounds wrong I know but the way things are our workplace isn't what it was.

Roger Mckenzie said...

Hey Ian
make sure that you drop into the office and say hello when you are around at the end of March.



Ian Manborde said...

Hi Roger,

Will do. In the meantime I am sending an e-mail on the back of the last one from Sue Ledwith.



Carol said...

Hi Ian

While I've not yet had experience of this type of management strategy, my understanding from some colleagues in Unite is that performace management is often used in other banks as a cheap way to "get rid" of bank workers - and I'm about to move onto that type of performance management.

I will keep you updated on how it goes as the new performance management regime is imposed upon us.

Regards, Carol