Swearing An Oath

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Swearing An Oath

Post by Doc on Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:07 am

Bare with me on this one please. Next week I'm attending an industrial tribunal, and was surprised to learn that all witnesses need to swear an oath, either a religious one or non-religious. personally as I'm an agnostic swearing an oath seems a little pointless and would bet in a court or tribunal situation toady, not many people would think twice about lying. It wasn't too many years ago, when this would have been different, and in those days teachers, doctors, bank managers etc were treated with respect and looked up to. Not today though as the fabric of that society has vanished.

So should the 'oath' be updated as its a pointless archaic bit of history, and maybe the new oath should be to swear on a PS3 or your children or car etc, or should it be just ditched completely
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by MustPuttBetter on Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:20 am

Good question Doc
I've often thought that any oath is pointless. Ok some might abide by it but more wouldn't and how are you supposed to tell the difference?

I have to say if i were in a situation where i was under oath and had decided for whatever rewason that i was going to lie, i'm not sure an oath would change that

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by Doc on Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:51 am

I reckon toady that nobody gives a toss about an oath, and that maybe means we're all non believers these days. Well church attendances are falling faster than employment, so its quite the opposite of of how religion is treated in the muslim world. maybe thats why they call us and the yanks the great satan.

Maybe the only oath that would work is to swear on your life, and if found to be lying you actually forfeit your life. Never going to happen of course, which means the oath is outdated in the eyes of the majority. Church and politicians are things of the past, and probably more people attend church than vote Wink
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by MustPuttBetter on Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:20 am

I've asked you not to call me Toady

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by Davie on Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:30 am

I reckon that the only point of "swearing an oath" these days is that it means there would be some sort of legal comeback if it was found you had perjured yourself with your evidence. In the past I guess it was meant to indicate that you'd be sent to some sort of hell or damnation but that is not the case these days. You are swearing that you are telling the truth and if it comes out later that it wasn't the truth you have some sort of comeback on you
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by Doc on Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:36 am

Well just got back from a tribunal, where i've lost a week of my life. Sworn in and then promptly told a porkie and didn't get struck down by lightning. What a travesty these things are. What a waste of the public's cash.

Guy gets sacked on purpose, but then appeals. Appeal hearing heard by me and a full investigation carried out. Guys a serial twat, a liar and admits he only wants to cause the company problems, but he will go away if we give him £40k. Told to go a way, so he goes to an industrial tribunal. Looking at all the evidence, its obvious this is a malicious claim, but he throws a load of 'triggers' in the air and hopes to make one stick (Sexism, racism, bullying in the workplace etc) so because this country is so pc, the tribunal goes ahead instead of being thrown out as bogus. The expense on legals and management time is huge and the disruption to the business is vast, as the management for a whole shift is missing all week, plus HR director, my operations manager, my stock manager and myself. The bloke is Polish so gets an interpreter, even though he speaks better English than me. Only 6 witnesses on our side and none on his, but it takes up to 4-hours each to get through the interrogation because everything has to be translated. he doesn't even have a legal team because no lawyer would touch it.

Joke and I'm now having to wait a week for the 3 man panels verdict. I thought the government were going to sort this crap out!!!! All they need to do is make sure that claimants have to pay costs if they lose, and all this crap will sort itself out.
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by BlueCoverman on Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:27 am

I feel for you Doc, what a bloody nightmare. Is it any wonder people become cautious and even reluctant to expand because of the need to employ more staff
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by Mary_S on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:04 am

Doc - I thought that claimant had to pay costs if they lost. affraid

I see that an 11 year old lad has been thrown out of the Scouts because he will not swear the oath as he is an atheist.
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by LadyPutt on Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:00 am

I chose to affirm each time I was selected for jury service (now there's a waste of people's time and money if ever there was one). I was then asked if it was because I had no religious belief. I was tempted to say 'Actually it's because I want to tell lies and don't want to be struck down by lightning' but didn't think the Judge would be too happy with that.

The tribunal sounds a nightmare Doc. I'm in the process of trying to piece together a some evidence against a street trader in Covent Garden who is a pain in the backside but keeps appealling against the Council's decision not to allow him to have a portable cafe on the street (when there are plenty of cafes around anyway). That will mean a court case on December 19th & 20th - a lovely pre-Christmas present!
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by Doc on Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:50 pm

Mary_S wrote:Doc - I thought that claimant had to pay costs if they lost. affraid

I see that an 11 year old lad has been thrown out of the Scouts because he will not swear the oath as he is an atheist.

Mary it never happens, but if it did it would make them think twice about putting spurious claims in. The only time it's happened (Twice in 6-years) no money was paid. It has become a complete joke recently, as every time someone leaves to join another company, they are aware that they can put a claim in. They will involve the union and a letter is sent in as a grievance, and before you know where you are the union have asked for compensation. You sit there and think, what the hell is happening here as this guy left because he got another job, and he wants to get a few quid out of us, simply because he can. If a bloke is sacked the union come and ask that a compromise agreement is reached, whereby the sacked bloke gets a reference and a couple of grand, because if not a claim goes in which costs a lot of cash to defend. Companies need protecting not workers these days, because we are being shafted constantly.
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by diggers on Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:31 pm

Companies get plenty of protection Doc.
Personal example, my wife goes on maternity leave this year, sh'es a highly paid director and has been promoted maybe 4 time in 5 years and spent 9 years at the firm.
Gets a letter saying they are changing her role, she can either go for a job that is 5 days a week (instead of the 3 she was doing) and with a 40% salary reduction. If she decides to take voluntary redundancy she gets x amount, if she applies for the job and loses out she gets a much smaller payout, statutory.
Her former number 2 is already doing the job that is supposedly the newly created role. Its obvious she has no choice but to take the larger pay out and suck it up. We hired a lawyer to handle the whole process but it was clear from him we had no case in a tribunal.
Oh, and she already had a lot of share options which she had to give up, coincidence that they are baout to sell up shortly and she would have been due a big payout, I think not. They just canned her as it suited their purposes.
Ive been fairly high up working for 3-4 companies in the private sector in the past 20 years and in my experience the shafting has always predominantly come from the company who are able to take advantage of good legal advice and to plan ahead to make getting rid of people as easy as possible.
Of course it doesnt always happen this way but to paint the firms as whiter than white and say everyone is just after an easy pay off is not correct in my experience.


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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by BlueCoverman on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:03 pm

Don't get me started on maternity leave...

'I'm pregnant and will be off for most of the year on maternity leave' they say. 'My congratulations and very best wishes' I reply 'And don't worry we will pay you for all that time you are not here, despite having to look to employ somebody else and train them up and pay them a salary as well... and don't fret we will keep your job open for you to return to if and when you are ready'

It might be alright for big firms to absorb but for small firms like mine employing under 10 people it is an absolute bloody killer
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by diggers on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:12 pm

Firms dont pay people on mat pay anything like a full salary as Im sure you are well aware. Most companies pay the minimum that they can and often find a way to get out of keeping the job open. Statutory maternity pay is about a £100 a week I think.
What do you propose as an alternative, employers should just be able to sack anyone as soon as they become pregnant ? Or maybe we should never employ women in the first place ?


Last edited by diggers on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:34 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by BlueCoverman on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:29 pm

No obviously not...it is just another thing which adds to the difficulties when trying to run a small business
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by diggers on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:38 pm

I dont think women are getting pregnant to make life difficult for you Blue. We need women on the workplace and we also need people to have kids.
If a woman doesnt have a job held open for her its virtually impossible for her to get back into work.
We supposedly live in a country that values the family unit, there has to be some form of support in place to make it possible for familys to exist as these days you need to have two incomes in most cases just to get by.

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by BlueCoverman on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:48 pm

No argument with any of that Digs
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by diggers on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:55 pm

Sorry Blue, Im clearly a bit sensitive on the issue at the moment. It has destroyed Mrs Digs confidence (in the middle of having a young baby to look after) and when you get canned when you arent even in the office and dont feel you have really put a foot wrong in your job its all been very surreal and unpleasant for her.
To a degree in the past I have probably not been a millon miles away from your own views as a small business owner myself, but when you see it firsthand, and we are a lot better placed than a lot of people, it casts a different light on the subject.

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by BlueCoverman on Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14 pm

Yes clearly that is neither right, fair or correct and I can totally understand your feelings.

Perhaps in a way, small business owners feel more of a sense of loyalty and duty to their employees, because of the closer relationship and are less likely to behave in the way you have described. Certainly when we have been in this situation I may have thought privately 'this is going to cause me a headache' but it has never crossed my mind that it could be an opportunity to can somebody.

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by MustPuttBetter on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:03 am

Whilst maternity pay is no doubt a pain for small employers i have to be honest and have always thought it's overplayed.
Employers are obliged only to pay 90% for 6 weeks and thereafter the stat amount (£135 a week or thereabouts). They can claim the stat amount back from HMRC and so the only cost to the employer - unless they choose otherwise - is the difference between the 90% and £135 p/w for 6 weeks

I'd guess on average that probably adds up to a couple of grand, which is of course tax deductable so net cost maybe £1,200

I'd say it was more of logistical problem having to get someone new in temporarily than a money thing

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by diggers on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:10 am

This is true Navy though of course many companies will pay more. The company who my wife worked for actually did a good package, 3 months full salary and 3 months half then stat. Some companies will do the whole thing at full pay.
Clearly they dont have to pay this extra but women look at the maternity pay before deciding who to work for and clearly its a puller in getting the best staff. If you work somewhere for 10 years then I guess one or two potential time outs for kids is considered not too bad.

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by Doc on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:40 am

Diggers whilst I have sympathy with Mrs Diggers plight, the 2 things are not the same. your wife has/had a contract at the top end whilst a normal worker has a different contract of employment. I know about the individual contracts directors can have, and agree that they are drafted in a way that makes it simpler for the employer (Through lawyers) to change things to suit themselves, which includes taking shares back at the price they initially paid, rather than the true market value etc. Any 'normal' employee has a right to use the tribunal service, even if ACAS tell them they have no claim, and even if they can't get legal representation because their claim is spurious. It makes no sense for these cases to be heard, but it causes a lot of disruption and cost to individual employers and therefore the employee or ex employee doesn't give a toss because its not costing them anything, and invariably gets them a few quid
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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by MustPuttBetter on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:42 am

Not Navy, but i assume that was in my direction Digs

Yes of course some employers will pay more but as you say they do that to give them an edge over other employers and attract good staff. That makes sense but it's not something that can be whinged about. It's a choice

I can't choose to take a Porsche as my company car as it'll look good to clients and then moan about the cost of the car benefit


Last edited by MustPuttBetter on Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Bad spelling)

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by MustPuttBetter on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:53 am

Oh btw, i've done a lot of work on this sort of thing and have never come across a firm that will pay the whole maternity leave at full pay. I'd love to know where that was so i can get Mrs MPB over there!

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by diggers on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:54 am

No they arent the same Doc but my point is that employers are also just as capable of manipulating situations to suit their own ends as employees. Ive known employers check though peoples emails to attempt to stitch them up, all sorts of underhand deeds in fact. If you know you are going to can people, as employers tend to, its very easy to manipulate a situation where you hold all the cards.
Sorry MPB, no idea why I typed Navy there. And agree totally, the choice element was indeed the very point I was attempting to make which I clearly did very badly.

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by diggers on Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:02 am

MustPuttBetter wrote:Oh btw, i've done a lot of work on this sort of thing and have never come across a firm that will pay the whole maternity leave at full pay. I'd love to know where that was so i can get Mrs MPB over there!

Sorry yes that might been a bit much, but I have had friends who have had 6 months ful pay which is very good. On my wifes first one we got really lucky, cant remember the exact details but it had something to do with one of the trigger months being when she had a big earning month due to an annual bonus. Meant for several months she got way more than she was expecting. Apparently its quite common for people to try and make it happen like that if they can ?

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Re: Swearing An Oath

Post by MustPuttBetter on Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:13 am

Oh absolutely they do Digs
Employers are obliged to pay 90% of the average weekly pay for 6 weeks. That average is based on the 8 weeks preceding the maternity leave so if it can be manipulated people will try and cram as much as they can in there, and employers of course will stop offering overtime etc.

Maternity Allowance for self employed people has an odd 13 week qualifying period and you see people preparing all sorts of advance invoices!

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