Public sector set for wave of employment appeals

Julian Harris
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GOVERNMENT sector employees are far more likely to launch legal appeals against their employers than workers in the commercial sector, according to new research released today.

While only one in four British workers are employed by the state or in the non-profit sector, they account for around 42 per cent of all legal claims.

And the proportion of employment appeals launched by public sector staff has shot up by 24 per cent in the last year.

“The public sector is already burdened by a disproportionately high number of employment claims and the problem could get worse as cost and efficiency savings are put in place,” said Louise Holder of law firm EMW, which conducted the research.

“The public sector is expected to start putting in place efficiency drives with performance targets that are likely to be tougher and monitored more rigorously,” Holder added.

“Some employees who are not used to this could see this as a form of bullying while those who are made redundant could file for unfair dismissal.”

And having to work harder for less money and perks could “create stress and resentment”, EMW said, leading to even more appeals.

Around 400,000 government sector jobs will be cut by the end of this parliamentary term, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) -- the independent fiscal watchdog launched last year. The cuts will be offset by 1.3m new private sector jobs created by 2015, the OBR has also calculated.

The plans will reduce state employment back to a level last seen in 2001-02, according to the Centre for Policy Studies.