Try before you hire

November 3rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


People as possessions. Not even possessions. Things to be used. Passed around. Changed if not quite right instead of invested in.

Free trial. Won’t cost a penny. It should cost company to employ someone, that person then has at least some value. If it costs to employ then an employer has more reason to get the recruitment process right.

There is already a way for employers to ‘try before your hire’. (Someone at the DWP got a massive slap on the back for that one.) It’s called Temp-to-Permanent. Someone is employed through an employment agency on a temporary basis. If after three to six months everyone is happy, the employee is transferred from the employment of the agency and becomes a full member of the client company’s staff, subject to another six months probation and 2 years of being able to be given the sack for no reason hanging over them.

Why should a company get a free input, especially when it’s someones’ labour? Especially when it’s a company that doesn’t need help paying the bills? People reduced to serving the interests of corporations, rather than the other way round.

The State, whoever running it, is not running it for us, the people. They’re running it for their mates in the board room.

A post on the Tories. It’s starts quite well, but quickly degenerates

October 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I read this and got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach…

A new breed of company in which workers will be forced to lose some maternity rights and all access to unfair dismissal tribunals has been unveiled by George Osborne as he tried to introduce a big deregulation of the labour market through the back door.

People are steadily being turned into machines, to be turned on and off at the whim of businesses. All the time we’re being told the country’s workforce need to be flexible. Employers are scared to actually employ people.

Employers are scared, though, because they can’t treat workers how they want to – badly.

The flexibility we’re told we need is not the flexibility a workers will presume, the flexibility to start early or finish late sometimes or to be able to perform roles, on occasion, outside of that which they would normally perform. What businesses want, or at least the fucking massive businesses that have profit sheets as big as countries, is the flexibility to hire and fire at will. To turn people on and off, with no thought to workers need for stability and security, the need to feel that they can commit to long term financial contract, such as mortgages.

Osborne revealed that workers could be given shares by their employer worth between £2,000 and £50,000, and any gains in those shares would be exempt from capital gains tax.

In return they would be asked to give up their rights over unfair dismissal, redundancy and requests for flexible working and time off for training. They would also be required to provide twice as much notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave – 16 weeks instead of eight.

I tell you what, I would rather have the security of a job and my current set of meagre employment rights than a bunch of shares that could be worth jack shit, no possibility of requesting a slightly different working day (and it is only requesting, not demanding) or not being able to take a company to court for being sacked for some spurious reason. And why revoke time off for training? Surely that is crucial for a flexible workforce, a workforce that can improve itself make itself better? And 16 weeks for a firm return date after maternity is already too long. Most people, when they resign from their job need to give a months notice. That should be plenty for a return from maternity date too.

Osborne told the Conservative party conference in Birmingham that the new “employee-owner” status would be optional for existing employees but existing companies and new startups could choose to offer only this type of contract for new hires, making it a compulsory condition of employment. Fast-track legislation will be introduced so firms can use the new type of contract from April 2013.

This is just a smokescreen to strip the worker of their rights. The new “employee-owner” will get a few shares, but who decides how many? It’ll be the company, and it’ll be nearer the two thousand pound end of the scale, not the £50k end. The new “employee-owner” will still be sacked if he inadvertently fucks up in the slightest, rather than asked to resign with a shiny golden handshake, that includes shares, when the whole den comes tumbling down, like those at the top of business. Some employees are more owners than others.

Stuart Rose, former chief executive of Marks and Spencer, said: “This is a win-win for entrepreneurs and employers in small and medium-sized companies that need a flexible dedicated workforce focused on growth.”

How the fuckety fucking fuck can yo have a dedicated workforce that can be told to get to fuck at a moments notice? These cunts at the top of these fucking businesses what the fucking impossible: They want to be able to hire and fire at a moments fucking notice, but they want their employees to be dedicated and hardworking. If you don’t provide security, people will not give a fuck. You make dedicated employees by providing security and perks, and looking after your workers when times are tough. You cannot have a loyal workforce that can be fired on a whim.

And on benefits…

Osborne signalled that some of the cuts would come from holding down the level of benefits: “How can we justify the incomes of those out of work rising faster than the incomes of those in work? Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift worker leaving home in the dark hours of early morning who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?”

Osborne is right to ask where is the fairness. Living on benefits, though, is not the luxury lifestyle politicians and the tabloids make it out to be. The question has to be, why doesn’t working provide a decent standard of living?

Instead of a race to the bottom by cutting fucking benefits, why not do something about getting paid work paid better, so first time buyers aren’t forty-somethings, some the people on benefits can get a job and not have to have some other fucking benefit fill in the gap?

How the fuck did we get into the situation where two people that work forty hours a week cannot afford even a modest home for themselves?

He also proposed cuts to child tax credits for families with more than three children and holding down the housing benefit budget by withdrawing benefits to those aged 25 or under.

Ah, nice social engineering project, you have there Mr Osborne. When do you plan to make ‘encourage’ people to only have two kids? And what the fuck is it with the age discrimination? It’s the fucking same with the minimum wage. People can get themselves sorted and stable and then it all go to shit before the age of 25. Is twenty five the age when a Tory becomes A Man, is it?

Fuck ’em.

Bring on the revolution.

On Osbornes’ plans to hand businesses more power over us

October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This really pisses me off

Workers will not be able to claim for unfair dismissal unless they have been in a job for at least two years – not one, under government plans.

The extension is part of Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to help business by changing employment law.

Two years?! Two fucking years!

Within 12 months a company can fuck off an employee with nothing more than a weeks notice. No reason is needed to be given. Fair enough I think. I’d rather it was less than 12 months, but it’s a compromise. I’m told it costs to recruit people and you never really know if you’ve hired the right person till they’re actually doing the job, so a probation period, for both parties is a sensible thing.

But, if a company doesn’t know if they’ve hired the wrong chap within twelve months of the appointment, then they need to review their recruitment process.

Twelve months is more than long enough.

We talk a lot about trade union rights – but what about the right of the unemployed person to be given a shot at a job and a career?

And how is this longer probation period helping an unemployed person? All it’s doing is leaving them in uncertainty for longer.

What about the rights of people currently sitting at home with nothing to do, desperate to get work, but the business can’t afford to employ them because they fear they are going to be taken to the tribunal?

And how the fuck is this going to bring down the cost of employing someone? It’s not suddenly going to drop the HR departments bills by half or whatever, is it? The cost saving is going to come from the drop in unfair dismissal tribunals, and that cost could quite easily be reduced by companies following a simple set of rules:

  1. Do not be a cunt of an employer

Granted, some companies might find it hard to follow that piece of guidance, but then they’ll deserve to spend money on a tribunal.

…by reducing the risk of tribunals for unfair dismissals the government hopes bosses will feel more confident about hiring people.

If you don’t have any confience in the recruitment process, fucking change it! People will litterally jump through any hoop that is set before them to get a fucking job, especially in this climate. The one thing that shouldn’t happen is for rulles to be relaxed so companies feel enobled to behave like wankers, which they will do.

What these cunts like Osborne forget (well maybe not forget but try hide or deny) is that the companies already have enough power over us. Without them, where the fuck are we? Where is our wage going to come from? Not everyone, for a whole variety of reasons can be self employed or start their own business.

All we want is a little bit of protection from being exploited too much.

The disabled: not worthless, just worth less

June 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

So this is why there should be an opt-out of the minimum wage, is it?…

[Phillip Davies MP] claimed the most vulnerable, including those with learning disabilities and mental health problems, were disadvantaged in their search for work because they had to compete with candidates without disabilities and could not offer to accept lower pay.

He claims he was told this on a visit to Mind. Another Tory challenged Davies…

Mr Davies was challenged over his remarks by fellow Tory MP Edward Leigh who told him: “Forget the fact there is a minimum wage for a moment. Why actually should a disabled person work for less than £5.93 an hour. It is not a lot of money, is it?”

Mr Davies replied that, irrespective of whether it was “right or wrong”, that was “just the real world that we operate in”.

So fuck right or wrong, eh? So instead of saying just get on with it, how about Davies doing something to right the wrong rather than letting, again vulnerable people get fucking shafted?


Mind have issued a statement

Today, Conservative MP Philip Davies suggested that disabled people should offer to work below minimum wage so they get a job when competing with able-bodied people. He quoted a visit to a Mind association in his statement.

Mind’s Director of External Relations Sophie Corlett said:
It is a preposterous suggestion that someone who has a mental health problem should be prepared to accept less than minimum wage to get their foot in the door with an employer. People with mental health problems should not be considered a source of cheap labour and should be paid appropriately for the jobs they do.

It is simply unacceptable that fewer than 4 in 10 employers will currently consider employing someone with a mental health problem. We should be trying be educate employers and challenge negative attitudes towards mental health problems rather than forcing people with mental health problems to undercut their way in to the workforce.

Mind has found that over 50 per cent of people with mental health problems are living on a weekly household income of less than £200 – what the Government defines as ‘living on the poverty line.’ Paying people with mental health problems less money than non-disabled people will not help them into work it will just widen the poverty gap.

(via DailyQuail & Unslugged

Working for the Daily Mail

February 10th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

People have been having fun applying for a job at the Daily Mail.

I would apply, after all I’m quite suited to the Mail.

  • I can write beautifully, as this blog can attest to
  • I’m not bothered about immigrants one way or another, although if I’m paid I’m sure it can’t be too hard to work up a bit of angst.
  • I’m all for the betterment of wimmin. Especially through the careful use of fear and criticism, including but not limited to commenting on how much weight they might have lost/gained and reminding the little ladies of the consequences of leaving pregnancy too late because of selfishly pursuing a career.
  • I don’t trust doctors and haven’t had my children vaccinated with the MMR – or I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t forgotten and accidentally took them down to the doctors surgery at their appointment time.

I think it would be quite fun working for the Mail. The only thing that’s stopping me from applying is, well, what category does the Mail fall into?

Does working for the Mail give you cancer or does it cure cancer?


January 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

You know when you want to post but nothing comes to mind? Well. This is one of those posts. I seem to be in a bit of a rut. Apathy, is a close friend at the moment. That and lack of time.

Nothing seems to get my goat, except for other drivers, who by their very nature are only allowed on the road to piss me off, and a very good job of it they’re doing too.

So, anyway. How have you been? Have you seen Anton’s being made redundant. Shitty business that is, usually. Full of fear and self-questioning. Not everyone can see being pushed out of a job as an opportunity. It can hurt. It’s different if you’ve made the decision yourself to move on. You’ve prepared yourself. You might still be going into the unknown, but it’s been your decision not somebody else making that decision for you. From his post, Anton seems to have taken it well. Which is good. As one of his commenter said…

If this blog is any guide, you’re a good bloke with a good brain and you’ll find your way.

Matt Frei has been presenting Newsnight this week, hasn’t he. It doesn’t suit him. He’s ok as a correspondent, but not as the anchor. Something about his delivery when talking to the camera, I think.

Here’s a weird ‘un for you. The Express has an article up about how white pupils are dumbers compared to kids from other ethnic groups. What’s weird about it is that it’s fairly balanced. The first part just lists the percentage of kids from different ethnic groups in that get five or more good GCSEs by town and city. No snarking or insinuations, just the figures. The second part refers to ‘experts’ and names one of them who actually, according to my lazy Googling, seems to actually be an expert. I’m fucked if I know why the Express has taken a quote from this chap, he’s only blaming poverty and not race or multiculturalism or political correctness. The prof says it’s to do with lack of aspiration, un-educated parents and unemployment. He has offered this opinion with out an anonymous counter arguement appearing in the article either. Yeah. Weird, huh?

I went for a bike ride on Saturday morning. Me and a couple of friends did an organised mountain bike event. It was bloody hard. We did the medium route, 26 miles, in just under 4 hours. I’m bloody pleased with that. It’s the first time I’ve done something like that. The hills were steep and it was really muddy, as you’d expect for January. Some of those other guys are amazing. Flying up these steep muddy hills on bikes that looked like they’d dragged out the bottom of a river. Awesome. If you’re interested here’s the results (.xls) and the medium route is in yellow (click to enlarge)

Well, I think that’s about it for this braindump.


On the Default Retirement Age

January 13th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Good news for the crumblies, then. The default retirement age (DRA) is to be scrapped.

This is A Good Thing, especially as the age at which the state pension can be claimed is going to be raised to 66, which could’ve left some people without an income for a year.

Some people aren’t happy about it though. Step forward the Institute of Directors.

The Directors reckon it will reduce flexibility for employers and want the plans clarified. As usual, ‘flexibility’ short hand for ‘ability to sack people’.

Why should this bother employers? The ability to sack people is there for employers already. There are procedures that have to be followed. Criteria filled. If someone ticks all the boxes then an employer has no comeback for sacking someone. Age, per se, should not come into it.

There is an arguement floating about that this change in the law is going to screw young people coming into the job market. Old, employed people equals young people with no jobs to get into.

First of all, why should someone move over, just give up or be forced to give up their job because someone else wants or needs it? A young person may need to get a job to get experience and skills and start moving up the corporate ladder (I seem to remember reading that the longer a ‘youth’ takes to get from education to employment the worse off they are with regards to their potential earnings, career progression and stuff like that). An older person has bills to pay, a pension to finish topping up, and other commitments. One persons need is no greater than anothers. No one has an automatic right to a job.

Secondly, the jobs that the older people would be leaving are not necessarily the same type that the young person would be taking. There would be something of a skills/knowledge gap.

There was also something in the news, and I can’t find it now about maybe increasing the period that an employer can dismiss a new employee for no reason from one year to two. Once again, all in the name of ‘flexibilty’.

Flexibility may be what the corporations want, and some would argue need, but what employees need is at least a bit of security. If an employer doesn’t know if someone is unsuitable for the position after a year then they probably shouldn’t be in a position offer employment in the first place.

It would be nice to have these directors think about the people they employ as people now and again, not just another resource they buy in like the stationary.

‘Business leaders’ write to the Telegraph

October 18th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

A gang of top business leaders have sent a letter to the Telegraph endorsing George Osbornes proposed cuts (and I paraphrase here)…

Go on Georgie Boy. Do it. Be a man and make those cuts. You know it makes sense.

I’m not confident enough in my economic learnings to say they are talking bollox, but…

The private sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to replace those lost in the public sector, and the redeployment of people to more productive activities will improve economic performance, so generating more employment opportunities.

… sounds awfully like a call for privatisation.

Now, privatisation is all well good, but when a public service is privatised there are never as many jobs filled by the incoming private company, with wages for the workers usually being at a lower level, too.

It’s not that hard to create jobs where a gap has been create by withdrawing a service that had only on supplier, is it?

The trick for the business leaders, which would really help us out (apart from not using convoluted ways to artificially reduce their tax burden) would be to create jobs without getting their mate the Chancellor kicking people out of jobs in the first place.

Oh dear, Diane

September 14th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

I heard Diane Abbott on Radio 4s’ Today programme this morning. I couldn’t believe what I heard (I can’t get a link to it from R4 now so here it is from the Independent)…

Ethnic and gender monitoring should be carried out when public bodies axe jobs to prevent planned spending cuts having a disproportionate impact on minority communities, Labour leadership candidate Diane Abbott said today.

Ms Abbott warned that a “last in, first out” approach to redundancies would hit black and female workers particularly hard and could set back race relations by a generation, risking “instability” in society.

What the fuck is she thinking? This is outrageous.

‘Last in, first out’ is a sensible way of deciding redundancies. If there’s two people in role, then it is a completely arbitrary way of making the decision. There is no chance of being accused of trying to get rid someone in an underhand manner, no chance of being accused of sexaul/racial discrimination. It is also not bad for the organisation either, by way of having to pay less redundacy money than needed.

Another way of deciding who gets the chop is my drawing up a skills matrix. Those with the higher skills stay. Again, colour of skin or whether someone has a penis or not doesn’t come into it. The matrix makes sure only what a person can do the matters.

Abbott may have a point about the cuts disproportionally affecting minorities and women, but that’s hardly a consolation to the employee, or their family that has been made redundant because of something an empoyer can be prosecuted for doing when hiring.

I think the public sector cuts have the potential to set back race relations and black and ethnic minority communities by a generation.

To use an over used phrase, WTF? The only way these cuts will fuck race relations is if a policy of deciding who gets the boot is done by race. Exactly as Diane Abbot is advocating.

On retirement

March 5th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

The Today programme on Radio 4 had a short discussion on the retirement age today about whether the compulsorary retirement age should be scrapped or raised or left as it is.

At the moment the complusorary retirement age is 65, although the employee can request to stay on, there is no obligation on behalf of the employing company.

I think that this is totally wrong. Why should there be a time, in this case an arbitrary decided age when someone can legally forced out of emploment?

As we get older bits and bobs start failing or but does that mean someone is not fit for employment?
If a person loses a hand or a leg, an employer cannot dismiss that person without first trying to find an alternative position within the company that a one handed/legged person can do. Why then should an employer be able to dismiss a 65 year old person just because they are 65 years old regardless of their ability to do the job?

A responsible employer would probably not do this, but they have the option. And this can’t be right.

As an aside, why are we talking about raising the retirement age at all? Shouldn’t we be trying to enable people to retire earlier? Don’t we spend spend enough of our lives working, without using the extra years we’re living to squeeze more out of us?

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