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I wonder where that British term comes from: "making people redundant". Not as zesty and honest as "firing people". Is it soft neolib speak of the (post-)Thatcher era?

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Jul 6th, 2015 at 06:51:21 PM EST
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It's been a current phrase for as long as I can remember.

The zestier British alternative might be "to get the sack." (I have no idea what the sack is in a literal sense.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 6th, 2015 at 07:56:17 PM EST
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Get the sack - meaning and origin.

The probable derivation of this phrase is an allusion to tradesmen, who owned their own tools and took them with them in a bag or sack when they were dismissed from employment.

It has been known in France since the 17th century, as 'On luy a donné son sac'. The first recorded English version is in Charles Westmacott's The English Spy, 1825:

"You munna split on me, or I shall get the zack for telling on ye."

In his 1869 'Slang Dictionary', John Hotten records these alternatives - 'get the bag' (from the North of England) and 'get the empty' (from London).

It is on the internet, so it must be true.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 05:34:07 AM EST
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In Ireland there is a technical legal difference.  If you are fired you have legal rights that may be vindicated under the Unfair Dismissals Act and there is no pretense that your old job is gone, it has simply been given to someone else in your company.

Redundancy is where your job disappears either because your firm has gone bust, or because it has changed its business model and the work you formally did s no longer performed by your company.  You are then entitled to Statutory redundancy payments and also, possibly, voluntary redundancy payments agreed by your employer.

An abuse of the system which has become common is where permanent workers are made redundant but their work doesn't actually disappear - it is done by cheaper workers contracted in from another company.  Technically the work is no longer being performed by the original employer and so the redundancy is legally allowed - but it generally leads to industrial disputes unless the redundancy is voluntary and the workers being made redundant have been given better than the minimal statutory redundency terms.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 7th, 2015 at 06:40:34 AM EST
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