Are you a limbo dancer or a pole vaulter?
I just wanted to do a quick video - it's a bit of a rant I’m afraid! It's really about pole vaulters and limbo dancers. I see too much limbo dancing and not enough pole vaulting.
What the hell am I on about?
Those of you that know me well know I'm always banging on about this.
Laws, policies and all that good stuff are just minimum standards. It's just the MINIMUM requirement that we have to do - legislation tells us to do that. So, somebody can claim unfair dismissal if they've got more than 2 years service. They can't if they haven't - fine. Well that doesn't mean treat people unfairly - just because they've only got one year or six months service.
What I see a lot of in the mediations I'm involved with are people contacting us about - “Can they do that to me? Is that fair? That's not right?" There are some HR people out there giving advice like - “You don't have to do that because they've not got two years of service” or “Don't worry about that - they haven't got protected characteristics."
Well, actually we've all got protected characteristics. I'm a white straight male but you still can't discriminate against me because I'm white, or because I'm male, or because I'm straight! It's the same principle. Too many times we're just looking if we’re below that bar and trying to drag ourselves up to the minimum standard that the law requires.
If somebody has less than two years service - does that mean you just treat them like dirt - down here in the mud? No it shouldn't - these are people that we’re dealing with. That's what I mean about pole vaulters - I want us to treat people far above where the law says we have to! If you do that, you're never going to have a problem with the law. If you're in a big dispute, or if you're in a Tribunal, they're looking at this minimum standard and you've been operating up there don't worry about it - you're going to be fine.