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Blame Culture

I was speaking to a friend recently who owns a shop. One woman member of staff had brought a chair into work. When my friend asked her why she’d brought the chair in she said that the chairs at work didn’t support her back properly. Fair enough, but when my friend caught the employee standing on the chair to reach an item on a high shelf he warned her that the chair should remain in the staff area and only a step ladder should be used for accessing high items. A week later the lady fell off the chair whilst disobeying my friend’s instructions. She sued under health and safety regulations. She was awarded £5000. She also got legal aid.

From last nights Glasgow Evening Times:

WHEN jobless teenager Darren Mirren couldn’t find his way across Glasgow he didn’t get mad… he got his dad to represent him at an industrial tribunal.
The 16-year-old who didn’t know how to travel all the way from Pollok to Shettleston by bus, train or taxi has had his claim for age discrimination thrown out.
Darren failed to turn up for a job interview because he claimed he couldn’t find his way across the city.Then, after missing out on a job as a cleaner, he lodged the claim against the firm.
The company, Spotless Commercial Cleaning, had called him at home after he missed the interview and the youngster told senior managers at the firm in Shettleston that he didn’t know how to find his way to the offices from his home in Myres Road, Pollok.
The tribunal heard how Darren insisted that a taxi would have cost him up to £40 to attend the interview and he had no idea how to get to Shettleston by bus and trains.
The hearing was told that the company, which does contract work at Braehead Shopping Centre, normally only allows over-18s to work on an unsupervised site where a floor buffer is used.
However, the firm, which employs around 40 people under the age of 18, encouraged the teenager to fill in an application form and attend an interview for a risk assessment.
In a written judgement, the tribunal rejected Darren’s age discrimination claim and accepted the company’s evidence that the 16-year-old would have been eligible for work on a supervised site had he attended an interview.
The youngster said: “It wasn’t my fault.
“I was unable to get there because they didn’t give me any directions.
“I felt it was discrimination because of my age.”
Legal experts have slammed the case as an example of Scotland’s blame culture’.
Glasgow lawyer Cameron Fyfe said: “Some people seem to think if anything goes wrong they can claim compensation.”
Darren’s father, who represented his son at the tribunal, questioned why, if the youngster was old enough to go to war, he wasn’t old enough to use a floor buffer.
Speaking outside his home today, he said: “The tribunal is over and done with.
“I’ve got nothing to say to you.”