Blog » Oxymorons and Beecroft
The back of the class.
When I was a kid, we studied Oxymorons. I remember the jokes about the word, the bored and exasperated teacher, the boys at the back pushing eachother off their chairs.... and then I remembered the lesson. Oxymorons are figures of speech that combine contradictory terms.
That's a figure of speech that seems a lot like an oxymoron to me. If there's no fault, then why the dismissal? Surely a no-fault dismissal would be something like an act of God causing the business to fail, in which case it's no one's fault. Or perhaps the failure of a business due to a three day week, such as happened in the 1970s. But if there's no fault in other circumstances, why would you seek to dismiss someone? It looks a lot like government gobbledegook to me, and the CIPD agree.
Apparently, according to Mr Beecroft, the evidence suggests that if employers could hire and fire people at will (in a sort of quasi military "fire at will" fashion) it would assist the economic recovery. Even my little girl worked that one out to be claptrap. Fortunately the CIPD response refers to the "objectionable" proposals and states that no fault dismissal is an unnecessary measure, and that there is no evidence to support the claim that if employers could fire people more easily, it would boost the economy.
The evidence that we have as mediators is that the workplace will be more efficient, demonstrate higher productivity and be more responsive if conflict is dealt with and relationships at work are more harmonious. Stephen M R Covey pointed out that soft skills yield hard-edged results in the workplace in his book, The Speed of Trust. It really can make business more profitable, and at Peaceworks, we can attest to that fact. People work better when they have good quality relationships. They produce more, they are more motivated and more committed to achieving the goals of the organisation.
Or maybe non-sequitur
That was part of the same lesson. Non-sequitur means "It does not necessarily follow". Perhaps no-fault dismissal is better described as a non-sequitur, for it doesn't necessarily follow that the economy will recover if more people get fired. Call me old fashioned, but I do like a nice bit of logic, and no fault dismissal leading the vanguard of economic recovery doesn't sound like logic to me. I'm sure Mr Spock would agree....