Like many people (but not by any means the usual working population if the crowd density on my train this morning) I’ve come to work after the Christmas break, refreshed and raring to go. Well, no, but I’m here anyway.
I took a complete break from employment law over Christmas so if anything incredible has happened (government U-turn on employment law reform? Tax free amount payable on redundancy increased from £30,000 to £300,000? Vento awards uprated again?) I have missed it. Whilst I’m getting up to speed here are some random musings on stuff, the froth on the top of the cappucino if you like, before getting back into the real thing.
I’m still waiting for the first post-office Christmas party case to land on my desk.However, if photocopying your bottom is now so last century, how about posting pictures of your genitals on Facebook? PC Daemon Johnson did just that and was sacked from Northamptonshire Police as a result. The (ex) Officer explained that he was intending to text the photo to his girlfriend but “pressed the wrong button” and sent the photo from his mobile phone to her Facebook profile, which was open to all viewers. Quite why he thought his girlfriend would welcome the picture any more than did the Chief Constable is unclear. Or maybe I’m just old-fashioned.
Last Friday The Guardian published an article which suggests Police Officers’ misuse of Facebook is not limited to just the odd embarrassing photo though;
At least two police officers have been sacked, seven have resigned and 150 faced disciplinary action after posting inappropriate photos or comments on Facebook in the past four years.
Officers used the social networking site, which has 30 million users in the UK, to harass former partners and ex-colleagues, comment on others’ wives, and suggest they had beaten up members of the public during protests.
In other cases details of police operations were revealed (obviously stupid) and some were disciplined for ” trying to befriend the victims of crime” (eh?). Seven officers resigned following complaints and presumably before disciplinary action was taken against them. The report states that in one unnamed force,
more than one in eight officers with a public profile had posted inappropriate comments or photographs. These included displays of nudity or partial nudity, offensive and abusive language, and excessive alcohol consumption,
It sounds like high time the Police caught up with the perils of Facebook and advised their officers accordingly. Off duty police officers are human beings like anyone else, and entitled to their views and to let off steam when not on the beat, but there can be few other occupations that demand respect in order to maintain their legitimacy.
Turning to something different, on New Year’s Eve I was talking to a friend about her new job working for a local authority. She’d just had a couple of days sickness but had gone in to the office anyway to avoid not being paid. The council for whom she works has a policy of not paying sick pay for the first two days of absence, but does pay thereafter. It’s clearly designed to cut the number of people taking sickies, but isn’t it unfair on those people who are genuinely unwell for two days and are then fit enough to go back in (yes) and doesn’t it mean that sickness and flu bugs etc get spread around more because employees will struggle in to work when they should be keeping out of the way? It sounds like it may be counter-productive to me if the result is more people going off sick.
And, if you’re drawn to taking a sickie today, bear in mind what one person on Twitter said earlier today “If January 2nd fills you with dread, isn’t it time you reassessed what you do?”
That’s it for now, ’til the next time.