Saturday, November 26, 2011

Firms encourage staff to divorce

Small British firms are encouraging staff to get divorced, to keep them focused on work, a law firm has said.

Venal & Grabbit, the London-based law firm, said that bosses were increasingly taking a "divisive" approach to their employees' marriages, so that they concentrated on their work, rather than their spouses.

It said that there had been a "marked increase" in the number of companies contributing to legal costs for divorces. Some firms even considered their employee so vital they were willing to arrange for them to have affairs where they did not have grounds for divorce, so that their spouses would divorce them.

The law firm said it had not heard of any cases of employers encouraging divorces until five years ago. But the number of cases has doubled in the last three years.

It said that "economic necessities" in the recession made small companies increasingly concerned to do whatever it took to retain the full attention of skilled and experienced members of staff.

Edgar Venal, Senior Partner at the law firm, said: "They notice the effect which a spouse can have on someone's productivity far more than a much larger company would. Given the current economic climate, they can ill afford such distractions, especially if the individuals involved are senior and important to a business's fortunes.

"More than doing someone a favour which allows them to sort out their private life while keeping a career on-track, getting rid of a spouse represents a gesture of commitment and support from the firm which, in turn, generates reciprocal loyalty from the staff concerned."

Firms weigh up the cost of encouraging divorce against their profitability, the law firm said.

Marriages can last up to 40 years and can affect an employee's ability to concentrate on work, it added.

Mr Venal said: "The firms with which we have had dealings are quite pragmatic. They regard any contribution to an employee's divorce as money well spent if it helps maintain the volume and quality of work done."

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Firms help staff pay for divorces - The Guardian, 26th November 2011

7 comments:

  1. A Senior Tory Advisor writes,

    "What an excellent idea from a forward thinking and progressive law firm. This is just the sort of clear headed legal advice we need to stimulate the economy. I shall be recommending to the government that this proposal is inserted into our review of employment laws, to go with protected conversations, removing the right to claim unfair dismissal and exempting businesses with less than 10 staff from having to worry about employment law at all. In fact, why not go the whole hog and allow employers to positively discriminate against married employees at recruitment.

    Marvellous stuff!

    Alan Beesknees

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  2. Thanks, Alan. I shall be passing your comments to Edgar.

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  3. If I was spouse and I knew the employer set up my marriage to breakdown, I would burn the law firm down

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  4. That's nice, but I think we may be missing the joke...

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  5. Only for those with a sense of humour, SW.

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