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.