Imagine you work for a big national company. They don’t pay very much and you struggle to make ends meet.
One day, the manager comes into the office and announces that the company needs to save money and with immediate effect, they will no longer be paying 20% of their staff.
He says that unfortunately, you are one of the people who will no longer work for money.
Certain that your boss has gone quite mad, you ask -with justifiable outrage – what on earth you will do?? How will you buy food or pay the rent??
He says it’s OK. The company have been very careful to only select workers who have a husband or wife with a job. You shout that your wife only earns £8,000 a year working part time as a cashier! He says that will be enough.
Angrily, you tell him he can stuff the job right up his arse, you’re leaving! No-one can work for free! What he’s doing is against the law. In fact it breaks more laws than Jeremy Hunt at a Murdoch garden party. You will take him to court.
He explains that the government changed the law at midnight. From now on, anyone “migrated” onto a “Nominal salary contract” cannot ever leave their jobs. You must stay with the company, working for free, until you retire in 38 years. (An aide whispers something in your boss’s ear) “No, wait, scrap that bit, you must stay with the company until you die” says your boss carelessly, as though he just told you the stationary cupboard needs re-stocking.
As though stumbling through a terrible nightmare, you realise there’s nothing for it, you will have to get a second job. Your boss points out clause 8, subsection C :
“No employee on a nominal salary contract (NSC) can attempt any other work for any other company or do any kind of paid work beyond the contractual obligations of the NSC at all. Any money earned by employees on an NSC will be confiscated and donated to the Treasury in the national interest.
As you stumble blindly away from him, your boss adds a bizarrely random parting shot “Oh, and we’re confiscating your car and you can never have a bath or shower again.”
Suddenly it feels like you’ve been plunged into a Hollywood movie. The script is so unbelievable, so surreal that you’re sure once people hear what’s going on, they won’t allow it. There’ll be an outcry. Maybe you’re actually dreaming. You phone journalists, MPs, lawyers, you desperately beg your friends to help you, but as though they’ve all been brainwashed overnight, no-one but you and the other people who must work for free see anything wrong with it at all. Or perhaps they do and they’re just glad it isn’t them….