Revised employment laws could cost industry dear

A
raft of new employment regulations to be introduced next month could increase
business costs by up to 50 per cent, according to law firm Morgan Cole.

The
Employment Act, which comes into force on 6 April, includes new dispute
resolution procedures, the right for parents to request flexible working
arrangements, enhanced maternity rights and paternity pay.

"The
new procedures will trip up uneducated managers, with dimissals in breach of
the new minimum requirements resulting in automatically unfair dismissals and
increased contract claims from staff with less than a year’s service,"
said Helen Goss, partner at Morgan Cole’s employment, pensions and benefits
group.

"More
than ever a spotlight will be put on the steps employers put in place to deal
with grievance and disciplinary procedures. If employers are not careful they
could find their costs have increased by 50 per cent."

Goss
estimates that an employment tribunal currently costs firms around £45,000. She
urges organisations to empower managers to tackle issues before they reach
tribunal.

By Paul Nelson

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