From: Bridget Stidworthy, customer services director, Chorus HR, Hale, Cheshire.
THE case of a Christian demoted for posting his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook should send out a clear warning to other employers across the country. You must review and completely understand your social media policies now – or put them in place if you haven’t yet done so.
As reported in national media, Adrian Smith lost his managerial position, had his salary cut and was given a final written warning by Trafford Housing Trust after posting that gay weddings in churches were “an equality too far”.
The comments were not visible to the general public, and were posted outside work time, but the trust claimed he broke its code of conduct by expressing religious or political views which might upset co-workers in addition to bringing the trust into disrepute.
Simple, robust social media policies written in plain English should be in place covering both business and private accounts, so both the employer and employee can clearly see what is expected of them at all times. Keeping these policies up to date as technology and the law changes is as important as having them there in the first place; otherwise you may unwittingly fall foul of the law and all the previous efforts you have put into HR policies and procedures could be undone by one simple oversight.
From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.
YOUR letter writer BJ Cussons concedes: “One can feel sorrow for some of the good gays and lesbians who want children.” (Yorkshire Post, November 29)
I am heartily sick of having to defend homosexuals in these columns but I would be letting down the gay friends that I have if I did not say that this is the most arrogant, patronising and, above all, ignorant contribution to the debate I have ever seen. Has your correspondent any idea what it is like to be told that you are not fit to bring up a child?
Patten must be answerable
From: AW Clarke, Wold Croft, Sutton on Derwent, York.
WHAT a wonderful example of a panjandrum is Lord Patten. Having lost his Conservative seat, after a career in politics he is, as a consolation, given the plum post of the last Governor of Hong Kong. Following the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese Republic, his charmed life leads him to the onerous task of European Commissioner and we all know what a lucky break that is for anyone.
After the end of that nice little number, he is made Chancellor of Oxford University and given a life peerage. Amongst his latest appointments is the chairmanship of the BBC Trust.
None of this would be of any interest to me had he not displayed such breathless arrogance when questioned by a member of the Commons Media Committee. For someone who has accepted the taxpayers’ largesse for most of his life I would think it behoves him to show a little humility when asked to explain the unbelievable mess in which the BBC finds itself.
He could, at the very least, have shown some regret for the colossal overpayment demanded by the former director-general, George Entwistle. Instead, he made it clear that he thought that it was quite beneath him to answer to the “little people”.
Rich pickings for Palestine
From: Michael O’Hara, Ainsdale Road, Royston, Barnsley.
WITH reference to the letter from Mr Bryant (Yorkshire Post, November 21) about the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, reams could be written about this and Israel but I want to draw attention to a different aspect.
Just before Israel was established. Germany had been devastated. She had lost large tracts of land to Poland and the Baltic states, and had to deal with at least three million refugees from those areas (it was so harsh that wartime rations in England were cut to help feed Germany).
Yet, in 10 years with the help of the Marshall Plan, organisation and sheer hard work Germany had recovered and was soon wealthier than we were.
So why not the Palestinians? The Arab world is very wealthy, has lots of space, parts of the desert area bloom when water (from distilled seas) is added.
It is because the Arab world chose not to do this, and kept the refugees as political assets in deals with Israel. I could go on and on. Many of the African countries tell a similar story, the individuals thrive when they emigrate but the states almost collapse.
Village of the dumped-on
From: Craig Heaps and Fiona Walker, Burn, Selby.
WE would like to express our concern and disappointment at the way that Selby Council have completely disregarded the residents of Burn over the issue of the new proposed travellers’ site on Burn airfield.
Not only have they gone against their own processes in selecting a suitable site, there has been no consultation with the village residents to seek their opinion on the matter.
We personally feel that the village is being dumped on. We are a small village with no amenities to cater for such an increase in the population and, as we already house a travellers’ site, the duty should by spread across the district.