EVIDENCE of Covid-19’s long term impact on Scottish unemployment is beginning to show, according to employment law, HR and health & safety specialists, Law At Work (LAW).
A total of 383 businesses contacted the firm to discuss the process for laying off staff in June. This represents a 425% increase in redundancy queries when compared to April.
Working on redundancy enquiries represented almost a quarter (24%) of the total work conducted by the firm in July, this is compared to just 4% in April.
Despite the extreme financial pressures placed on businesses during the last four months Daniel Gorry, LAW deputy head of employment law, insists that companies must take the proper steps during the redundancy process. Failing to do so could lead to expensive and time-consuming litigation claims further down the line.
Daniel said: “Unfortunately, these figures are a stark indication of what could be ahead in terms of unemployment in Scotland.
“It is clear that a lot of businesses are now seriously analysing what options are open to them once the furlough scheme comes to an end.
“We have been speaking to more and more businesses in recent weeks that are desperately looking to reduce their costs. Sadly, this often means looking at their staffing levels.
“Redundancy is one of the most closely monitored and legislated aspects of employment law and the process can seem very complicated and confusing. However, it is absolutely vital that companies don’t cut corners in the process, even during these difficult times.
“A redundancy tribunal can be costly and time consuming, and with the tribunal service seriously backed up as a result of the pandemic, it is likely that any challenges to redundancies won’t be heard in court until next year.
“Any redundancy should always be seen as a last resort but regrettably we expect to see a significant increase in companies consulting with their workers on redundancy. We would urge any business going down this route to make sure they take suitable advice before beginning the process.”