Saturday, 3 April 2010

Free Legal Advice from NCC?

This is very odd.

Hat tip to Greg in the comments to an earlier post for pointing me at this. He suggested that it might be an April Fool and I can see why but it's still up there on the NCC site and I'm pretty sure it wasn't posted by the midday deadline on the day itself.

Anyway, Hassan Ahmed (you may have heard of him) appears to have made a portfolio decision to provide free legal advice* for all employees regarding single status.

NCC has just finalised its solution to this legal minefield although it hasn't been made public yet. But apparently the unions have seen it and have gone through the roof. So again, if it IS an April Fool it's in pretty poor taste.

That might be a clue as to the motivation behind it though as normally the role of providing advice on working conditions falls to the unions. Providing external legal advice would neatly sidestep them. But that's a bit conspiracy theory even for me.

The plan has a few flaws mind. Would you trust legal advice about whether you are being shafted by your employer when that advice was being paid for by that employer? And this is all being done via the portfolio holder decision making process which has an upper financial limit of £500k. That's going to work out at about 5 minutes of advice for each of NCC's 13,500 employees at typical solicitors' rates.

Whatever's going on here it's odd, really odd and I really have no idea of what it's all about.

* NCC providing free legal advice and representation is not entirely unprecedented. Their legal section was happy to use taxpayers' money to provide representation to a small number of unidentified employees when some stroppy blogger decided to point out what a bunch of incompetent lying bulshitters they were.

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