Unfair dismissal claims most likely amongst the employees surveyed

Maria AdediranPress Officer
February 06, 2015, 2:10 PM GMT+0

A recent YouGov Reports publication surveyed 256 adults who were involved in an employment law dispute in the last five years. It found that unfair dismissal was the most likely kind of employment law/claim for them to be involved in, as one-third were.

The “Employment Law 2015” report shows that an overwhelming majority of individuals have not been involved in an employment dispute in the last five years. Only 4% reported that they had been involved in an employment law issue.

Various avenues are used to obtain legal advice for an employment dispute, however, the research suggests that turning to law firms and solicitors is the most popular choice amongst the employees surveyed. Almost half (48%) who have been involved in a dispute used a law firm or solicitor in their latest employment case. It is also evident that trade unions and professional bodies are important in the employment dispute process to a significant number of employees; 38% turned to these source for advice. Citizens Advice Bureaus (CABs) and other local advice agencies were used by 14%.

A majority the employees surveyed were more likely to be satisfied with the process than with the outcome of their employment law cases. The highest satisfaction ratings were for the supply of any relevant documents and letters during and employment case (76%) while almost three quarters (73%) were positive about the explanation of the legal process given at the start of the process. A smaller proportion of the employees (58%) expressed satisfaction with the final outcome of the dispute and slightly less (52%) with the final financial settlement.

Amongst the employees using external legal advice, an equal percentage (25%) paid based on a traditional hourly fees arrangement or by a fixed fee. A no-win, no-fee arrangement was used by 11%. Excluding those claims/disputes where adults cannot remember the costs, costs for well over half (62%) of the employees who used an external legal adviser were no more than £1,000 – and a quarter of claims/disputes (25%) cost nothing.

YouGov Reports’ Research Associate director, Tom Rees commented: “When looking for a legal adviser, the majority of employees involved in an employment claim/dispute in the last five years say they want someone who has experience in dealing with complicated disputes and has specialist employment knowledge. This may be why there appears to have been an increase in the number of those who turn to law firms and solicitors."

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