Employment levels and unfair dismissal claims rise

Employment figures for the three months to June 2010, show that the number of people in employment rose by 184,000, and Acas report a steep increase in workload, especially in unfair dismissal cases.

Employment Rates and Unfair Dismissal Claims Rise

The Office for National Statistics has published employment figures for the three months to June 2010, finding that the number of people in employment rose by 184,000. While this is the largest increase since 1989, it is not a true reflection of employment figures as it is mainly driven by an unprecedented number of people having to work part-time, masking the true state of unemployment in Britain.

The rise in part time employment figures can be explained by employers who want to retain employees, and are reducing hours rather than cutting jobs, and by employers offering part time rather than full time positions. This sharp rise could indicate that it could take several years for workforces to fully recover from this recession, and for part time workers to return to full time employment.

There could be potential problems with the rise in the number of part time workers. There will now be a surge of part time workers wanting full time jobs, and as the recovery will be slow this will lead to frustration which could lead to motivation and staff engagement issues for employers.

Source: Employment rate up to 70.5 per cent, Office for National Statistics, 11 August 2010


Acas Annual Report 2009/2010

The Acas annual report for 2009/10 shows a steep increase in workload, especially in unfair dismissal cases.

The number of individual employment claims referred to Acas for conciliation rose by 13% to 87,421 (up from 77,478 in 2008/09). As always, unfair dismissal was the most common type of claim and featured in 64,878 cases referred to Acas, nearly 10,000 more than last year. The next most common types of claim were regarding wages, breach of contract and redundancy pay.

This is not happy reading for employers who, unless they follow full and proper procedures , could be liable to pay compensation of up to £58,000 for an unfair dismissal claim. In order to avoid such a colossal financial hit against business employers should ensure that they are fully appraised in respect of the procedures as set down in the statutory dismissal procedures to include a right of appeal.

In the current economic climate where jobs are scarce any breach of the dismissal procedures will most probably result in a claim for unfair dismissal and employers are well advised to take legal advice to ensure compliance at each stage of the termination process whether it is for a reason relating to redundancy or for disciplinary reasons.

Source: Acas Annual Report and Accounts 2009/10

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