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Big increase in unfair dismissal claims

The number of claims for unfair dismissal has risen by 29%, according to the latest figures released by the Tribunals Service.

There were also steep rises in the number of employees taking action over levels of redundancy pay and the failure by employers to consult properly when making redundancies.

The increases are largely down to the recession which has put enormous pressure on firms. The sudden nature of the downturn has meant some have rushed to lay people off without following the correct procedures. This lays them open to claims from staff who feel they haven’t been treated properly or given the appropriate redundancy package.

The latest figures from the Tribunals Service cover the 12-month period up to last March. In that time the number of claims for unfair dismissal rose from just under 41,000 to just under 53,000. Claims over failure to inform and consult on redundancies more than doubled from 4,480 to 11,371. The number of claims over redundancy pay rose from 7,313 to 10,839.

The figures show the increasing willingness of employees to take action to protect their interests. Economic pressure is also a factor. In the past, many employees who lost their jobs would find new work quite quickly and so would not feel the need to pursue a tribunal claim. The recession has made it much harder to find work so people have fewer options. They may choose to take legal action to make up for their lack of income.

Anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly in redundancy proceedings or discriminated against at work should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Please contact us if you would like more information redundancy or any matters relating to employment law.

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