British companies could be running the risk of being hit with unfair dismissal claims by forcing members of staff to work unpaid overtime, according to an expert from working practice watchdog Work Wise UK.
The organisation’s chief executive Phil Flaxton warned that the recent recession has led some bosses to become increasingly slipshod when it comes to their observation of employment laws, which could have negative long-term repercussions for firms.
“It is not uncommon now for people in some sectors to be working 50-hour weeks,” he explained. “I suspect that some staff would react to that [by] trying to bring some kind of legal action against their employer.”
Mr Flaxton added that UK companies could see “a fair degree of unrest” in terms of employment disputes over the next few months and observed that some trade unions have already threatened to take industrial action.
Executives concerned about the impact the economic downturn has had on their workers should consider taking part in the Employee Wellbeing Forum, which takes place at Smithfield, London, on October 14th 2010.
Posted by Hayley Edwards