Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

The dangers of blogging, part 549

Petite Anglaise has been sacked for writing her award-winning blog (or “gross misconduct”, as they called it) – and has launched a test case before an employment tribunal claiming compensation of two years’ salary. The Telegraph has more, as does (of all places) The Gulf Times.

It has to be said, I can’t see her winning this one – you write a blog at work, using work computers, in breach of company policy (as I am doing now, in fact), you can hardly complain when they throw the book at you, surely? Yes, it may be an over-reaction to a fairly harmless bit of spare-time musing, but – as bloggers are wont to say all the time when it comes to their comments boxes – their gaff, their rules. It may be a bit nasty of them, they perhaps could have reached a compromise, but it’s hardly cause for compensation, surely? Or am I missing something here?

(I, meanwhile – and without wanting to brag – have recently been offered a pay rise and a decent amount of additional responsibility at work, largely thanks to the blogging. This, in turn, has ensured that I’ve got rather less time for the blogging of late. Life works weirdly – and these things seem to be the luck of the draw.)

Very important note: This is not to say that I don’t have a lot of sympathy and think PA’s former employers are probably a bunch of shits, in case this sounds overly insensitive and leads to a bunch of her many loyal fans assuming I’m trying to flame the poor girl. I’m just not a fan of compensation culture – especially people trying to get compensation when it is they who have done something wrong. I’m also not a fan of people being sacked, but that’s life. These things happen.

Update: More from Petite at Comment is Free, including more detail over the sacking. The lack of warning could, possibly, give her some ground for complaint – although she does note that “a clause about ‘loyaut�’ is included in most French employment contracts”. An odd one…