Why Santa was sued for a personal grievance when he changed the Elf roster

Even Santa wasn’t immune from the recession. The global credit crunch had affected his long term investments in reindeer stock and commodities, which meant that the income from those investments had taken a tumble. Santa knew that he could not cut back on Christmas presents for the kids, so something had to give. He felt the only option was to cut some hours out of the Elf roster.

The Elf Roster received a good working over

As Christmas approached Santa took a red pen to the elf roster and started crossing out shifts. Jingle and Jangle were good workers and were an invaluable help to Mrs Claus so their hours went unaffected. Roger had two shifts cut because he clearly had eyes for Elisa and the two of them would forever get distracted from their work. Aaron also was a bit lazy so he lost several hours too.

The new roster was pinned on the Elf bulletin board  

Once Santa had done the roster he pinned it on the elf bulletin board for all to see. All the elves immediately gathered around and there were some very long faces from the likes of Roger and Aaron who wanted to know why they had been singled out.

Roger and Aaron immediately stormed into the Santa’s grotto and started protesting that it wasn’t fair. Santa explained about the recession and the global credit crunch but Roger and Aaron weren’t having any of it. They immediately went to see Rudolf who was their union delegate. Rudolf’s face went as red as his nose when he heard the news and he advised Roger and Aaron that the changes amounted to an unjustified disadvantage because Santa had failed to consult with them over the changes.

Roger and Aaron raised a personal grievance

Fortunately, Prancer was a trained mediator as well as a reindeer, so got Roger, Aaron and Santa round the table. Rudolf explained that Santa wasn’t allowed to make changes to the roster which had the effect of reducing the elves' normal hours without proper consultation. He said that his clients had the right to give feedback, firstly on the need to cut hours and secondly who should be chosen to have their hours cut. Roger was particularly scathing at how Santa had favoured Jingle and Jangle. In his view, if hours had to be cut then it should happen across the whole elf team equally.

Santa argued that he should be entitled to pick the best workers to ensure the presents were made on time, but as Prancer explained when the parties went into separate rooms to negotiate a settlement, he should have consulted with everyone about that first. Prancer explained that Santa had weaknesses in his case and if he wanted Christmas to occur on time this year, then he needed to reach a settlement.

Santa took a hit

In the end, Santa thought it best to restore the old roster rather than risk dissatisfaction amongst the elves and a postponement of Christmas. He made a mental note that in future he would consult over any significant roster changes. Of course, restoring the old roster meant he had to make cost savings elsewhere. So, if you find that the Christmas presents under the tree this year aren’t quite as lavish or expensive as previous years, remember that this has been a year of recession. As Boxing Day came around, Santa sat back in his grotto by the fire studying his portfolio of investments, hoping that 2010 would be a better year...

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