Businesses are not established with the aim of creating jobs. Yet we hear and see an increasing amount of news about wages, employee benefits and employment Laws which would strongly suggest otherwise and leave many of us wondering exactly when the micromanaging hand of Government and European Legislation will actually be stopped in its tracks. SME’s in particular are burdened with rafts of Legislation which many owners are simply not able to afford to manage by hiring specialist management or consultancy input that would otherwise be unnecessary.
When you set up a small business on the back of a particular skills set which then begins to grow and requires staff, should a financially-strapped Government really be placing barriers in the way of entrepreneurial growth and survival by insisting that you understand and enact the many stages and steps that you have to chronologically take before you can remove a bad, perhaps livelihood-threatening employee?
I’m sure I was not alone in wondering if at last some sense were beginning to prevail following the announcement in March that the Government had began a Consultation on ‘No Fault Dismissals’ and that perhaps hard working business people and innovators would now be trusted not only to grow their enterprises, but to also look after the staff who ultimately look after them.
Like every situation in life, a workplace will have its share of good and not so good employees, but it is simply ridiculous to place the burden of proof upon an employer in order for them to expeditiously remove disruptive, troublesome and sometimes poisonous staff who can potentially destroy a business through their actions and continued presence. The bottom line is after all that it is only in extreme circumstances that any genuine SME employer realistically wants to have to take the trouble to remove any employee on an immediate and individual basis, unless they simply can’t afford to keep them anyway. Redundancy is and should always remain a different thing entirely.
At this point, the argument that simple staff under-performance would result in unfair summary dismissal as a result of changes is likely to be introduced. But for any of us who have employed and managed people within an SME setting where you don’t have the benefit of dedicated HR or Recruiter resources at your call, we know only too well how much time and expense it actually takes to recruit a replacement employee for any job and especially those roles which will be key to growth and continuance. It is hardly therefore likely that most of us would do anything other than make the maximum effort to bring staff up to the required standard if it is actually possible to do so.
It is sensible to accept that there will always be those employers who will abuse trust and operate in an unscrupulous manner towards their employees. Thankfully, I believe that they are now very few in number and with staff basically being the primary asset of any business, those leaders who treat them badly will soon reap the rewards of what they have sown without the interference of unnecessary legislation and the all-too-often misused threat of Employment Tribunals hanging over them.
Having seen all too many potentially great small businesses halted in their tracks, simply because the owner doesn’t want the problems associated with employing staff and also witnessed larger businesses brought to a standstill because of the self-serving militancy of charismatically influential individuals, it’s high time that Laws which have been created for the sake of having such laws were repealed and taken back to the point where most of us would accept they were actually doing some good.