Thursday, October 30, 2008

One law for the rich?

Regular readers (Sid and Doris blogger) will not have been wondering if the lack of posts here reflects my profound concern at the suspension of Jonathan Ross – and will have been right not to do so.

My recent silence is attributable to pressure of work in the branch, where the daily grind of redundancy threats, disciplinary hearings and random general nonsense is as normal and a bit moreso.

Much as I am always inclined to defend workers facing disciplinary action for a daft mistake it is hard to work up sympathy for celebrities who earn telephone number salaries when local government workers can lose their jobs for misdemeanours which have nothing whatsoever to do with our work.

The latest purge from employment of those who have misused “Blue Badges” (disabled parking permits) seems to me very objectionable. Using such a permit when you ought not is a serious matter and if you are caught doing so you can be prosecuted and get a criminal record and a fine of up to £1,000 for each offence. Fair enough if you’re guilty.

But if you are a local government worker you can find that as well as that you will face disciplinary action at work and could well lose your job (and then try getting another job in local government in a hurry when you have been sacked for gross misconduct!) Other public service workers may be prosecuted but won’t necessarily face the sack as well.

Increasingly local government workers are subject to “Codes of Conduct” which seek to police every area of our lives, way beyond the legitimate interest of the employer in matters which might be thought to have a bearing on our contract of employment.

A million miles from the limelight in which Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross will remain (earning millions) in spite of misbehaviour which would have got them sacked where I work, people are being thrown out of employment for wrongdoing which has nothing to do with their work.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where I work you can be sacked for having half a lager at lunch time, as the employer imposed a policy on it.
You would be fit (and legal) to drive a car or use machinery, but not fit to work in an office.............

jim ennis said...

The need for the employer to control, subjugate,bully and control it's workforce is a worrying trend and is synonymous with New Labour's grim totalitarian tendencies. No doubt the credit crunch, or greedy bankers if you wish, will be the cue for them to stick the boot in even more.