But increasingly, it is not just those like the former boss of Newcastle United who have to fear the axe or changes to the way they work. Increasing competition and volatility in the world of business, combined with constantly changing rules and regulations, mean that it has never been more important for workers at all levels to know their rights.
And the Which? Guide to Employment just published by Which? Books (pounds 10.99) should prove invaluable. Written by Ian Hunter - a partner specialising in employment law with City solicitors Bird & Bird, and a frequent contributor to the Independent and Independent on Sunday - it is subtitled "Rights and tactics in the workplace".
As such, it is more like a navigation aid than a conventional reference book. Hunter does not set out endless case summaries and citations from statutes, but looks at such issues as whether to seek full-time employment or to become self-employed, weighing up the pros and cons by pointing out the different tax positions and the varying rights and entitlements. Likewise, technical matters such as "gardening leave" and other means of protecting employers' rights plus topics of obvious interest - for instance, employees' rights on dismissal and how to take a case to an industrial tribunal - are all discussed in a knowledgeable yet accessible manner.
And indeed it goes a long way towards living up to Hunter's aim to avoid writing "another dry tome designed for personnel professionals and lawyers". Though in-house human resources specialists and lawyers will no doubt find the book a useful addition to their shelves, it is certain that the biggest beneficiaries will be individuals caught up in the constantly changing world of work.
The idea is to provide practical advice on the sorts of employment problems faced by someone, somewhere, every day, Says Hunter: "It tells you when you've been sacked unfairly - and when your employer has every right to get rid of you."Reuse content