Confusion reigns on employment law

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Companies in Yorkshire are becoming increasingly confused and concerned about changes to employment laws, according to a survey by national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

The survey, conducted during a number of seminars organised by Irwin Mitchell for business, showed almost three out of five companies expect the number of Employment Tribunal claims to rise in 2011 and more than half believe the removal of the default retirement age will result in a rise in the number of Employment Tribunal claims.

Fewer than one in five businesses believe new employment legislation planned for this year will have a positive impact on their businesses.

A a third said it will have a negative effect.

Liesel Whitfield, from Irwin Mitchell’s employment law team said: “Businesses in Yorkshire are clearly worried about the volume of changes in employment law over the past few years and the impact that this will have.

“There is also a concern over how much businesses know about the upcoming changes - which could land them in hot water if they fail to comply.

“An overwhelming majority of businesses support the introduction of a Tribunal fee. While the current ‘no-costs’ rule is central to the tribunal system and the need for it to be accessible, fees - which can be forfeited if a claim is unsuccessful - are theoretically a good idea.

“The difficulty is that most claimants in an Employment Tribunal are out of work.”