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Sacked via social media

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger
Sometimes it isn’t about an interpretation of employment legislation, it’s about what message you want to send out about the type of organisation/employer you are. The message most people heard was we don’t care about our employees, they are disposable, what we want to do is pay the minimum wage, cut holiday and sick pay yet have a flexible workforce at our beck and call. Agency staff or people on zero contracts is our solution to the challenges the business is experiencing.
The head of HR will be seen by many as the villain as he fronted up the video, presumably the chair and chief executive weren’t even prepared to do their own dirty work. No doubt there were operational reasons why P&O wanted everyone to be told at the same time but this could have been achieved by having a senior manager at each venue to give the bad news in person accompanied by an HR specialist to answer questions about process, redundancy payments and hopefully the assistance the organisation was going to provide to individuals to get another job.
Of course people would be angry and direct their anger at the senior manager present but haven’t people a right to vent their feelings and doesn’t having to hear the strength of feeling and sense of betrayal go with the territory and large salary?
I don’t know what relations were like between management and Trade Unions but presumably there had been some discussions. The trade union wouldn’t have been doing their job if they didn’t fight this decision but even if management / board weren’t prepared to consider an alternative surely they could have negotiated how this redundancy would be conveyed and implemented. If nothing else such discussions and a period of notice or phasing in would strengthened the organisations position in any future legal challenge.
No doubt HR explained all this to the board but this wouldn’t be the first nor will it be the last time HR advice is ignored.

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