I’ve said it.
Am I allowed – as an employment law expert – to say that?
Aren’t I supposed to pretend that this is all perfectly reasonable?
I’ll be honest with you, there are some processes in employment law that make me want to bang my head against a brick wall.
And I can understand that the convoluted processes that we all have to go through will sometimes sound like a magic potion recipe:
But here’s the thing:
You can do what you want as a business owner, as long as you’re prepared to deal with the consequences.
You can choose to not pay your taxes. Then you will get a personal visit from HMRC (they don’t do that for everyone!).
You can choose not to do any sales and marketing, and then be surprised that you have no clients.
And you can choose to “just fire” an employee, without following a process. Then face a potential fine of one year’s salary plus a 25% uplift for not following any process at all, let alone a bad one.
I know it sometimes feels like employment law is common sense gone mad, and that everything is on the side of the employee.
But the starting point for all the pain in the a** employment laws is that the employer has the power and the employee has none.
I know it feels the other way around sometimes, but it is true.
As the employer, you have the power to take away money (their salary) and their job. You can fire them, and they can’t stop you.
Employment law processes haven’t been introduced to stop fair and reasonable employers like you, but those out there who are really nasty to their staff.
You would never dream of firing someone just because they spoke back to you. Others would.
You would never dream of firing someone because they are ill. Others would.
And you would never dream of firing someone on allegations of stealing without giving them the chance to put their case across. Others would.
So when it seems like the process to part company is never-ending, remember: it is a lot cheaper than the tribunal alternative!
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