Monday, 9 May 2011

Money down the drain - part 2

Congratulations to a south-coast employment tribunal office that has really got to grips with the technology to improve efficiencies and save money.

We recently filed an ET3 - response to an unfair dismissal claim - on behalf of an employer client, together with a detailed reply to the claim and copy documents. There were 37 pages in all and we sent them as attachments to e-mails.

We know those arrived safely thanks to the automatically generated receipts that always come from the Tribunal Service but it’s good to have the one-page standard letter acknowledging the response has been received within the prescribed time.

As ever, we asked for correspondence to be sent by e-mail – it’s an option on the standard form.

Not only did we get the one-page standard letter by post - attached to it we have all 37 pages that WE e-mailed to the Tribunal, printed, stapled and put in an envelope bearing £1.49 postage.

I wonder what is the total cost of the postage, consumables and time to perform this exercise and how many times does it happen every day, week in, week out. Needlessly.

The Treasury Solicitor’s office deserves a brief mention too for its consistent practice of sending communications by post (including two-liners in a A4 brown envelope) that have already been sent to a high quality laser-jet fax printer.  I expect they put the letters in the envelope and send them to the post room after they had been faxed “because it is what we have already done”.

The leading contender for some sort of prize at the moment has to be the MoD for this spectacular effort...

A friend - son of an old friend - recently had some problems with his knee whilst serving in the Navy.  It seems the surgery was successful and the problem with the knee is no doubt a fading memory.

What is more difficult to forget is the manner in which his final check-up and discharge was handled.  For no other reason than that he was stationed in North Yorkshire at the time of the problem and surgery, the Navy required - and fortunately for him, paid - him to travel from Crewkerne to Darlington to see the specialist.

Darlington and back - 650 mile round trip.  Here to Yeovil, the nearest hospital and within 5 miles of Yeovilton air base - 9 miles.  If it had to be a naval hospital then Portsmouth and Plymouth are considerably nearer.

The appointment lasted... 4 minutes.

Just what is going on??

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