An increase of 22 percent in the number of unfair dismissal cases recorded in the last 12 months has led to a welcome boost for experts in human resources. The figure, published in the annual report of the conciliation service, ACAS, has led to a growing number of companies seeking advice from specialists in employment.
The need for expert help is due to the ever increasing amount of legislation governing employment, coupled with the rise in the amount of compensation being awarded by tribunals to employees who have been unfairly dismissed. The difficulty people are likely to have in finding suitable alternative employment in the recession is also being recognised by tribunals in the amount of compensation they are awarding.
One company which is seeing its workload grow is SJ Beale HR Consult, which is based in Northampton, heart of the Midlands. Founded in 2003, it offers companies a “bolt-on” or ad hoc HR consultancy service which, it claims, ensures that they comply with the law, have best practice policies in place and minimise the risk of their being taken to an employment tribunal.
“Being taken to a tribunal involves a company in a great deal of extra work, expense and disruption” said the company’s founder, Sandra Beale. “As if this weren’t bad enough” she added, “losing a case can have a seriously detrimental effect on a company’s reputation and lead to employees becoming demotivated, both of which can take a long time to recover from”.
SJ Beale HR Consult recently successfully defended an unfair dismissal case for a client and defeated a reputable London-based barrister. “This case was a good example of why it is often not necessary to put the defence of an unfair dismissal claim in the hands of lawyers specialising in employment legislation”, she said.
To build on this track record of success and responding to increased demand for effective representation, the company has now introduced a fixed fee tribunal support package offering transparent costing and effective assistance with the tribunal process to protect a company’s reputation.