Downturn sees sharp rise in unfair dismissal claims

As the financial downturn continues and economic uncertainty prevails, the country’s Employment Tribunals have reported a huge increase in the number of claims for unfair dismissal (“UD”) and redundancy pay (“RP”) claims.

UD claims rose 29% to 52,711 cases in the 12 months to March 2009, whilst RP claims rose by 48% to 10,839 for the same period. In addition, claims against employers for failing to inform and consult over redundancy saw a huge increase of 154% to 11,371 cases.

These dramatic increases are a result of a combination of factors, principally the increase in legislation governing procedures for employers, the current level of enforced redundancies, the increase in companies offering no-win-no-fee claims’ services to employees, and the failure of employers to implement and follow the correct procedures governing redundancy, disciplinary proceedings and dismissal.

Without the last factor there would be significantly fewer successful claims, and this should highlight the fact that many of these claims are often avoidable, whilst reinforcing the need for employers to ensure that their company’s internal redundancy processes, as well as the disciplinary and dismissal procedures, are

– in place,

– clearly set out, and

– conform to the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. The current Code of Practice came into force on 6 April 2009 to coincide with the coming into force of sections 1-3 of the Employment Act 2008.

Hilton Law will help you both understand and implement the relevant and necessary procedures to ensure that, in the event that a former employee issues a claim, you are sufficiently protected to successfully defend the proceedings.

Don’t delay. Avoid adding to the surge in employment claims. Leave us a message below or call us.


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