Employers have been advised to consult employees before announcing reduncanciesBritish businesses have been reminded by a legal expert that they could be leaving themselves at risk of industrial action if they fail to follow the correct procedure before making workers redundant.

Rakesh Patel, head of Thompsons Solicitors' employment rights team, explained that companies seeking to lay off more than three members of staff are obliged to discuss the matter with them beforehand – or else it could go to an industrial tribunal.

"Multiple cases for failing to consult people over redundancies [and] multi-claimant cases have increased," he said. "That may show that there is an increase overall in the number of claims being brought."

Mr Patel added that the continuing after-effects of the recession have given some private sector firms an excuse to "handpick" individual employees for redundancy.

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Posted by Ross George