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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    What he actually said was that they were working a worst case basis of not operating before March 2021 but didn’t actually commit to it being the final plan at the moment.
    Do agree though there’s not much going on operationally to discuss in this thread.
     
  2. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I tend to find that when the leadership of an organisation comment on a particular plan, it tends to carry through into the way they will act. So I'm inclined to take that as a statement of what's likely, just as the test run at the GCR and return of some staff from furlough gives me a view of what's likely there.
     
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  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    If the threat of redundancy is true, and the paid staff at the WSR do get made redundant, do they have to be re hired at the same conditions of employment under new contracts when, if the railway re opens, could the PLC change the terms and conditions, add in clauses about social media, etc, in effect banning employees from posting anything, not agreed by the chairman, on any social media site, on fear of instant dismissal from their positions ? .
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  4. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Well-Known Member

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    South Western Railway?
     
  5. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    if you are made redundant then your contract of employment is at an end. If at some future date you are rehired then the old contract of employment has no bearing on the T&C's you are then offered.
     
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  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    @simon has answered the main part of the question but the ability to include and enact confidentiality clauses would be to some extent limited by employment law. However, it's perfectly normal for employees to be subject to confidentiality provisions and for those to be enforceable.
     
  7. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    @Robin Moira White is, I gather an employment law specialist BUT if you are made redundant the job must cease to exist. If you are then rehired in the same role clearly it does still exist.
     
  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    Fat finger syndrome :oops::oops:
     
  9. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Member

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    I’ll talk generally and not specifically about individuals within the current WSR so this is general operations for railways like the WSR (to keep on thread). Any modern business has a fine balancing act between not removing freedom of speech and not allowing staff to give away confidential business information. It’s more complex when you have both paid and volunteer staff working side by side having access to the same information.

    With an organisation such as the WSR you also have Volunteers and/or paid staff who may also be shareholders and members so have a greater right to information and to talk about it freely. I’ve often had conversations with people where we have to agree in which capacity we are both speaking at that time.

    Any heritage railway like the WSR needs to be fully aware of the pitfalls as our hobby has moved from a few volunteers that fall out on occasions, which usually gets resolved with a slanging match in the pub, into multi-million pound businesses in their own right with all that brings.

    The use of broad brush Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) to stop staff saying anything are now very much frowned upon by the Government and in many cases are unenforceable if just applied ‘as a term of employment’ because they stop freedom of speech. Whereas confidentially clauses for specific business sensitive information are enforceable and understandable.

    You then add in Whistle Blowing Policies (Public Interest Disclosures Act) as a legal requirement meaning anybody (staff or public) seeing what they perceive as wrong doing by a business having an obligation and legal protection to bring those things into a wider audience, and then as a Leader/Director you have to adhere to something like the Nolan Principals (the official HM Gov version) which also gives leaders the same responsibility about how they act themselves and speak out or act toward others. These two requirements act as safe guards to ensure employers don’t frighten people into silent or use NDA’s to stop people speaking out when they are doing wrong (the PIDA legally overrides anything else put in place).

    The WSR did have a good set of HR Policies which covered all of this in good detail, including a Social Media policy which allowed everybody to have a say whilst not overstepping the mark. However as with all such things it also relies on good all round relationships.

    If you are a leader, even a volunteer within the 21st Century Heritage Railway Industry you have to have all of these skills and knowledge, it’s not just about knowing a lot about trains anymore. If you don’t you will end up in court sooner or later.

    To answer your question, if an employer employed anybody with an over arching NDA it wouldn’t be enforceable and if a trade union were in place they would not allow it anyway. However the HR Policies are there to cover these things and are written (or changed) with the consent of all sides which if well done keeps everybody happy in most situations.
     
  10. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    in the meantime I have completed surveys for three lines looking to restart and one line is running test trains this sunday which you can go and watch
     
  11. 46229

    46229 New Member

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    While the wider duties of ROGS do not apply in sidings, some parts will, including coupling/uncoupling and maintenance/repairs to vehicles which may be used on the transport system. It's a red herring anyway - as a workshop and yard, the requirements to manage safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Management of Health and Safety Regulations and the various regulations covering specific areas (PUWER, LOLER, COSHH etc) are just as, and probably even more onerous. Either the SDRT will have its own Safety Management System or they are working to the WSR's.
     
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  12. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Part of the furniture

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    I think you are mixing two things up.

    They can make a post redundant or a person redundant. I believe you are referring to make a post redundant.
     
  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    My understanding has always been that to make a person redundant, the post has first to be redundant. Certainly, whenever I've had the misfortune to be somewhere that the axe has been hovering, it's been the case that the assessment has been role first, then person - even if the assessment of "role" has been a broad group and then considering the number of people in that role the business can support.
     
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  14. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Quite, technically a role can be redundant and not a person if the role is empty but that is really hair splitting territory.
     
  15. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Resident of Nat Pres

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    One of the legal sites I checked says you need as little as a week (just to prove no continuity of service) before you could reemploy the person in the same role if you can prove financial conditions have changed. This is of course what will happen in the airline industry where many pilots and cabin crew will be made redundant but may well be reemployed in the same role at a later date. Although in the case of cabin crew that would likely be at far poorer T & C's I suspect.
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Things may have changed since I was a working man but then it was always the job that was made redundant and never the man. As ever, there were tricks that could be applied. Thus, you could make job A redundant and man B, transferring man A to job B provided all agreed. That allowed older people to be made redundant, rather than the younger ones.
     
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  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    For re-employment of the same people, I can see that working. It will be harder if others are employed in susbtantively the same roles. And, thinking of @Steve's point above, my experience is that HR have always been extremely jittery over how the mapping of people and roles because of the interaction of employment and other law - notably discrimination law.
     
  18. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    I once worked for an employer who didn't understand this and tried to make me redundant, but not my job - they hired someone else to do it. However, before they could give me the bad news, they were told in no uncertain terms that I had just been given a cast iron case for constructive dismissal, with the result I was left with nothing to do on full pay and very puzzled until I found out what had happened.
     
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  19. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    The last time I was involved in a redundancy process myself, I was leading a team of 8 people who on paper had equivalent roles, and was told 4 of those positions were redundant. I therefore had to assess the 8 people to determine who performed best in their roles. Two of the people concerned understandably resigned instead, so in the end we did have 2 unoccupied redundant roles.
     
  20. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    One management style that was popularised in the USA in the 80s by the CEO of General Electric was to automatically fire the 10% lowest-performing staff in the company every year.

    Very popular in the US but completely incompatible with UK law - except there's at least one major UK financial firm that did and does still do it, quietly. They get away with it just by giving the staff concerned a very very good deal to leave "of their own accord"
     

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