Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’


by Sunny Hundal    
10:00 am - May 6th 2012

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The Sunday Telegraph has a list of Tory policies that will form part of David Cameron’s “battleplan” to rescue his flailing leadership.

Here is that sorry list:

* Make firing underperforming employees easier in an attempt to free up the labour market and create jobs.

* Extend flexible working to anyone with a job, in an attempt to overcome Tory unpopularity among women, which analysts warn could be a serious threat at the next election;

* clamp down on crime with a new “British FBI”, tougher anti-social behaviour measures and community sentences;

* not include a Bill on HS2, which is hugely unpopular with backbenchers. Nor will it contain measures to allow private universities, which had risked a damaging rift with the Liberal Democrats;

* avoid legislation to set a minimum level of foreign aid spending, a plan that has been derided by rebellious backbenchers.

There are more chances of us seeing unicorns than there are of these plans doing anything to create jobs.

In effect, Cameron is beating a retreat.

He knows he can do little about the economy so he has to give large concessions to the right on social issues instead.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Yeah. It is liberal that Britain definitely should NOT have a relatively liberal labour market for hiring and firing (like, say, Denmark). Instead it is liberal that Britain has as rigid, costly and regulated labour market as possible (like, say, Spain, Italy or Greece) where it is very hard to fire a permanent employee. Yes! The track record of these countries speaks for itself, right?

For info on the “Flexisecurity” social model in Denmark, try this (scroll down):
http://www.da.dk/bilag/Flexicurity%20in%20Denmark.pdf

Since when has reducing worker’s rights been a social issue and not an economic one?
Plus, how does sacking people easier ‘create jobs’, surely it just transfers them?

4. margin4error

Kind of reads like a suicide note.

the tory economic plan isn’t working – the deficit is way over-shooting because the cuts have hit confidence and crippled the economy – so…

lets create business uncertainty by backing out of already-stated support for a category 1 investment (HS2)

lets create fear among 30million employees and so hit consumer spending (easier firing)

Along with reports that an energy bill will be shelved, creating uncertainty for companies, and planning reform still having to settle – we are talking about a government that has effectively said to companies “don’t invest in this country for a few years to come.”

Christ, Boris has even called the Thames Tunnel into question – and that’s already underway.

It’s a sick joke for business in this country.

“Make firing underperforming employees easier in an attempt to free up the labour market and create jobs.”

– Cameron is on a sticky wicket when suggesting underperforming employees should be fired. If he and Osborne simply resigned, then no one else will need to feel the pain of his their underperformance.

I understand Spain has recently made it easy to fire people, only to find it creates absolutely no jobs.

If firing employees is to be made easier, will this include the right to recall MPs who are underperforming, involved in sleaze, corruption, sex scandals and who have over extended themselves by, say, having a dozen or so extra jobs?

It seemed Gordon Brown may have created several hundred thousand non-jobs in the public sector.
Cameron tells us he is going to cut back the public sector – no problem – the private sector will sweep in and employ all these people.
The drawback, is it hasn’t.
Did Cameron believe his spin or did he think we would believe it?

7. margin4error

mostly he hoped we’d believe it. Thing is – private sector would employ people if the economy was growing and companies had some certainty ahead in order to commit to growing their business.

this government is doing everything within government’s power to ensure neither comes about and that therefore the private sector won’t take on staff.

The hybrid bill for HS2 was never going to be introduced this year, because the plans for it are nowhere near ready. So, with respect to HS2, the Telegraph article is merely confirming that something that wasn’t going to be included, isn’t going to be included.

9. margin4error

Penny

it is due to be introduced in 2013 – so I had assumed the telegraph was talking beyond the next week or so – but perhaps you are right. Indeed it begs the question as to whether much of this is a new battleplan or a bit of cameron/telegraph spin to pretend existing plans are a response.

Yes I’m sure that will encourage people to spend by telling them their bosses will be able to fire them more easily.

This policy is the work of one of the tories biggest financial backers. He is a hedge fund manager, so he knows jack shit about anything.

11. redpesto

* Extend flexible working to anyone with a job, in an attempt to overcome Tory unpopularity among women, which analysts warn could be a serious threat at the next election;

Now this could be a good idea, but one suspects that ‘flexible working’ in this case is Tory-speak for exploiting employees and is merely another variation on extending the right to hire and (more likely) fire.

Cameron should set an example then a fire Hunt. Why keep someone who has made a huge cock up and Osborne too who has made a extremely huge cock up with the budget and most probably caused this mess with the Tory party in recent weeks.

Chris Hedges wrote recently: “When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. “Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony.

The quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth, as Karl Marx observed, is modern society’s version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of infrastructure and, finally, collective death. It is the self-deluded, those on Wall Street or among the political elite, those who entertain and inform us, those who lack the capacity to question the lusts that will ensure our self-annihilation, who are held up as exemplars of intelligence, success and progress. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum.”

David Cameron appointing his old school chum the ex-Selfridges towel folder chancellor, is quite reminiscent of the Roman Emperor Caligula planning to make his favourite horse Incitatus a Consul and priest “that would “invite” dignitaries to dine with him in a house outfitted with servants there to entertain such events.”

* Make firing underperforming employees easier in an attempt to free up the labour market and create jobs.

This is the type of muddled thinking the fucking halfwits come up with every time they get clobbered. To be fair though because these ideas never come under any kind of scrutiny from the Left, it is easy to understand why they trot this shite out.

So where do these ‘under-performing’ people go once they have been sacked? Straight back onto the Labour market. Who replaces them in jobs? Presumably previously unemployed people. So churning the pot a bit more vigorously creates jobs does it? So how does replacing one group of people in work with another group of people out of work create jobs.

Fucking typical Tory vermin.

Any decent human being with half a brain would see we need to keep those in work employed, thus easing the downward pressure on the labour market, thus giving long term unemployed people a fighting chance of accessing new jobs that are created.

16. Just Visiting

Jim

> So where do these ‘under-performing’ people go once they have been sacked?

I though the teachers Union person on Radio 4 Question time was poor this weekend.

Teachers are impossible to fire it seems, no matter how ineffective.

You would rather they stayed at the school where they are ineffective?

You’d be happy to have your kids taught by them?
You’d be happy to be a teacher in the same school, with such a weak member of your team?

Are you opposed to football captains and manager not being able to choose their teams?

17. Robin Levett

@pjt #1:

Yeah. It is liberal that Britain definitely should NOT have a relatively liberal labour market for hiring and firing (like, say, Denmark). Instead it is liberal that Britain has as rigid, costly and regulated labour market as possible (like, say, Spain, Italy or Greece) where it is very hard to fire a permanent employee.

Denmark? The Denmark which has 72% unionisation and therefore effectively compulsory collective bargaining agreements (in that you won’t get any labour if you don’t have one and the union wants one). I have no reason to believe that PWC have got things wrong in this introduction to Danish labour law:

http://www.pwc.dk/da/human-ressource/assets/pwc-brochure-labour-law-web.pdf

There is a lot of guff talked abput the UK’s supposedly restrictive labour laws. It is in fact not difficult in the UK to fire a permanent employee; it’s just that if you fire someone who has been doing his job properly after his first eyar of employment, you have to pay compensation. That compensation is limited.

If however, acting reasonably, you come to the conclusion that the employee is not performing as they should then you can sack them without compensation; so reasonable employers have no problems. During their first year (first and second years for small businesses), of course, employees have no protection at all from unfair dismissal (although they do from discrimination).

#16 Just Visiting:

I don’t think anyone’s arguing that seriously underperforming individuals should not be fired from their jobs (particularly in environments like schools). I think the issue is with the claim that making it easier to do so will ‘create jobs’. It clearly won’t. There will be the same ratio of jobs to unemployed people as there is now.

So that policy is a non-starter on that front alone, but the fact that they want to make it easier to fire people is worrying in itself as this is something that could be very easily abused by employers.

How can you tell whether someone was really underperforming, or they’ve been fired because the boss just didn’t like them? That’s what unfair dismissal is for of course, but the Coalition want to make that harder for people to access.

What makes me laugh (in a despairing way) is how much this Coalition have banged on about welfare scroungers and how they will reward people for ‘doing the right thing’ (i.e. working) – and now they want to make it easier for people to lose their jobs. On the grounds of ‘creating more jobs’. You couldn’t make it up.

@16 Just Visiting

> So where do these ‘under-performing’ people go once they have been sacked?

How easy is it exactly to sack Cameron and Osborne?

20. Just Visiting

Violet

> How can you tell whether someone was really underperforming, or they’ve been fired because the boss just didn’t like them?

Well, in most work places people can be fired. And yes, it is possible that sometime the boss ‘just didn’t like them’ – so we have Employment Tribunals that are free to use, and laws about ‘constructive dismissal’ etc.

Why should be public sector be exempt from the normal rules of human conduct – that alot of the time someone has to be ‘the boss’ and make the final decision.

Just why is it impossible for heads to fire teachers?

Aside from incompetence, it does happen that people just get stuck into a negative rut in a job, maybe they ‘just don’t like’ their boss and are unable to put that to one side and get on with the job; there are a few scenarios where someone getting fired will actually be to both the interest of the school and the pyschological well-being of the person fired – allowing them to move on to another job and make a fresh start without the baggage that had allowed to build up.

Peter Drucker the business guru of 70s and 80s said that it was good to be fired before you reach 30 ! To see that the world does not revolve around you – and to allow you to move on to another role and be successful and thus to know that you can be part of a positive, successful organisation, and not be scarred by the earlier problem.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/SQwi3OXu

  2. Jason Brickley

    Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’ http://t.co/6JN28eyC

  3. Politics/MedCannabis

    Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’ http://t.co/6JN28eyC

  4. John H

    Hmm. First 2 points contradict each other, surely? "I'd like to exercise my right to flexible working." "You're fired." http://t.co/BxgN1H8D

  5. John H

    Cam's "battleplan" only reinforces his incoherence. Free employers! Extend flexible working! Create jobs! Axe HS2! http://t.co/J65izIFM

  6. Inna Mood

    Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/SQwi3OXu

  7. Martin Crozier

    Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/SQwi3OXu

  8. Fuck Oxbridge

    Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/SQwi3OXu

  9. The VL Team

    RT @libcon: Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/0UzHWKdE

  10. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’ http://t.co/eTOeNJe1

  11. Humphrey Cushion

    Is Cameron now taking advice from "Baldrick"? #useless "@libcon: Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/Ilvr4MJP"

  12. //()()|]()79

    Is Cameron now taking advice from "Baldrick"? #useless "@libcon: Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/Ilvr4MJP"

  13. Anthony Kimber

    Fresh government clamp down on crime and anti-social behaviour http://t.co/Yg3nr548

  14. Rick Coyle

    Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/SQwi3OXu

  15. Amanda Adlem

    You're Fired, Cameron! Gideon, get out!
    http://t.co/uR2HtTHM

  16. Jeni Parsons

    Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Uw7ejdvI via @libcon

  17. Roy Grant

    Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Uw7ejdvI via @libcon

  18. BevR

    Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Uw7ejdvI via @libcon

  19. Mr Creek

    Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/SQwi3OXu

  20. Mark Smithson

    Cameron to make firing easier in ‘battleplan’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/jYR7RdoY via @libcon

  21. Patrick Torsney

    Cameron's ‘battleplan’: http://t.co/AQSdnl09 Deary me, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse….

  22. Stephen Coltrane

    Cameron's tough new strategy – a British FBI, and… er… no HS2. That's it. http://t.co/aVgWOWkT h/t @ilegal

  23. Puppet Politician

    Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/SQwi3OXu

  24. Noxi

    RT @libcon: Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/ACXRVNUn

  25. Noxi

    RT @libcon: Cameron to make firing easier in 'battleplan' http://t.co/oQV7PfXN

  26. IpswichCAB

    Firing to be made easier in new Government ‘battleplan’ ~ http://t.co/CO97UVoS

  27. Nic Eatch

    Firing to be made easier in new Government ‘battleplan’ ~ http://t.co/CO97UVoS





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