Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Employment Grievance Lottery

Hattip: Scoop
There still seems to be a number of people in the community and political sphere that maintain that our employment dismissal laws are sufficient and clear.  However in the above article from scoop the following caught my eye:

“Hurt and humiliation awards ranged from one Member awarding an
average $8,933 with 62 per cent in favour of employees, while another Member awarded an average $2,150 with a 38 per cent in favour of employees.”

It may actually be used to argue both in the favour of employers having too much leniency or employees having too much protection - however I would just use this to show that the required procedures are too complicated and unclear. If even the judges trying the dismissal cases cannot seem to agree about the bounds of unfair dismissal to the tune of damages differing by a factor of 4, and a 24% difference in outcomes then both employee and employer cannot have any certainty in the process protecting their rights.  Both must feel some trepidation; the employer being worried if they can ever actually let someone go, and the employer whether they could be fired without justification.

Wayne Mapp's probationary employment bill will assist in this matter - but only by making the rules very clear for the first few months.  After that the employment relationship re-descends into the current mire, where neither side is 100% sure of where they stand.  I would see that we need to pass the probationary bill, and then move to make the whole process clearer and simpler for the entire employment period. 

What do you see as the current problems with the employment dismissal procedures?  And are they weighted too much in the employer or employees favour?
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