urban creature: November 2004


Monday, November 29, 2004
Billy shows people their options


You're either with us or you're with the terrorists.


  Scribbled by urban creature @ 9:51 pm - [Permanent Link] 1 comments

Saturday, November 27, 2004
Good & Bad #12

1. Officially working as a "planner"... [ TUE ]

2. Large debt catching up with me... [ WED ]

3. Swimming naked... [ THU]



  Scribbled by urban creature @ 1:55 pm - [Permanent Link] 0 comments

Saturday, November 20, 2004
Billy discovers open sauce


Billy obviously didn't get what I meant when I said we'll be moving to open source soon. I admire his enthusiasm though.


  Scribbled by urban creature @ 1:59 pm - [Permanent Link] 0 comments

Friday, November 19, 2004
Unfair Dismissal
Unfairly dismissing employees is innately unfair, hence the term "unfair dismissal". Unfair dismissal can range from the ludicrous to the borderline. Sometimes employees challenge their sacking on the basis of unfairness when they know full well that they were at fault and rightly should have been sacked. These cases can obviously incur substantial legal costs and this can sometimes threaten the very survival of some small businesses.

On the other hand, employers who do sack their employees unfairly should be legally accountable for their actions. This is called "justice". I would argue that justice should always be served regardless. If people or businesses face hardship in attempting to access the legal system or defend their charges, they should be given assistance by the state.

For those of you who are oblivious to the concept of justice or the necessary intervention of the state, let me put it another way.

Howard will be attempting to exclude small businesses from unfair dismissal claims. He claims that by doing this it will decrease the unemployment rate. I am well aware of the lunacy in his reasoning... that by making it easier for people to be sacked it will mean more people will be employed. Certainly small businesses might be more willing to employ new staff if they didn't have the threat of suffering financial hardship if things didn't work out. This willingness on the part of employers to employ someone for the role and test them out for a while rather than engage in a rigorous and sometimes inhuman interviewing process at the beginning. Some employees do well at selling themselves at interviews and then generally show themselves to be lazy, thoughtless and incompetent later. For many others, including myself, who are hopeless at interviews yearn for the opportunity to simply prove ourselves where it really matters - on the job. This is part of Howard's reasoning and something I would agree with - on its basic level. However, this argument is simplistic and pretty weak as a basis for major legislative change.

Howard's changes would fundamentally result in a two-tiered system. One system for those who run small businesses and another system for those who don't run small businesses. I would be very interested to find out how a small business is defined by the government. If it is defined by the number of full-time (or equivalent) staff - let's say under 50. Those with 49 full-time employees will obviously be thinking twice about taking on an extra person after these changes are made to the law - presuming that their ability to unfairly sack anyone outweighs the benefit they would get from that additional employee. Small businesses mostly grow incrementally - they take on 1 or 2 additional employees as they see the need. These changes to unfair dismissal laws may have the negative effect of keeping small businesses "small". By creating a two-tiered system by setting an arbitrary line in the sand we may actually do more damage to the small business sector of the economy than we mean to.

Furthermore, small businesses often suffer from lack of employees with specialised skills and experience. Larger companies often have prestige and have the ability to further an employee's career without them needing to leave the company. Small businesses have two choices: they can employ younger people who are just entering the job market and train them up; or they can employ those who are close to retirement or have become disillusioned with larger companies. Howard's changes could effectively wipe out any remaining perception of job security small businesses currently have - making it harder for small businesses to find quality staff.

Having worked almost continuously for small businesses (including running my own) throughout my working life I am sympathetic to small business owners. However, the proposed changes are fundamentally short-sighted and could present the small businesses sector with many more problems than they appear to solve - as well as being contrary to our national concept of a "fair go".


  Scribbled by urban creature @ 6:51 pm - [Permanent Link] 1 comments

Sunday, November 14, 2004
Good & Bad #11

1. New project... coming soon... [ FRI ]

2. Behind with the Lanes blog again... [ SAT ]

3. Quiet Sat night in playing Scrabble... [ SAT ]



  Scribbled by urban creature @ 1:53 pm - [Permanent Link] 0 comments

Saturday, November 13, 2004
Compulsory Voting
This excellent article by Chris Barrett in The Age points out some of the many reasons we should stick with compulsory voting here in Australia.

SCARY REALISATION No.1 - compulsory voting is not enshrined in our Constitution and so voluntary voting can be introduced simply by an Act of Parliament.


  Scribbled by urban creature @ 1:40 pm - [Permanent Link] 0 comments

Thursday, November 11, 2004
The 90's
The nineties were such an optimistic decade. The Berlin Wall had only just fallen, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was looking like it was heading somewhere and Clinton was having his private member interviewed by an intern in the Oval Office.

And then Y2K came, some Texan dropkick became President of the US of A, some idiots flew into some tall buildings, and Iraq War II is fast becoming the television melodrama that might out-last Days of Our Lives.

On the bright side... some Americans have decided to apologise for their country's biggest mistake so far this century - Sorry Everybody


  Scribbled by urban creature @ 11:10 pm - [Permanent Link] 1 comments

Friday, November 05, 2004
Good & Bad #10

1. New job going well... [ MON ]

2. Bush winning the US election... [ WED ]

3. Discovering more flash animations... [ THU ]



  Scribbled by urban creature @ 8:24 pm - [Permanent Link] 0 comments

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
A Third-Term President?
If Bush manages to win the 2004 election, do you think he will try for a third term? Considering he didn't really win the 2000 election, he could legitimately run for a third term - although technically it'd be his second. It'd be like the Iraq War never happened.

Meanwhile, life goes on and this week's lane is up in the usual spot.


  Scribbled by urban creature @ 9:53 pm - [Permanent Link] 0 comments

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Billy gets lucky


Billy rides a champion to victory today. In other news... some horse wins the Melbourne Cup.


  Scribbled by urban creature @ 1:58 pm - [Permanent Link] 0 comments



About Me
Name: Aaron Hewett
Location: Melbourne, Australia

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aaron [at] myrealbox.com

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