In these days of accelerating redundancy rates, a local solicitor is keen to highlight to businesses the rises in redundancy pay that came into force at the beginning of February. According to Alexandra Dean of Gepp & Sons in Chelmsford, "On 1 February, a week's redundancy pay increased from £330 to £350, and the maximum statutory redundancy payment rose to £10,500 from £9,900. This has now gone up by nearly £4,000 since as recently as 2000, when the statutory maximum stood at just £6,600." Just as significant, though, is the rise in the compensatory award for unfair dismissal, which has risen from £63,000 to £66,200. "This means that businesses found to have dismissed an employee unfairly may be forced to pay up to £76,700 – the compensatory award plus the statutory maximum payment," Alexandra continues. "In some cases, particularly those involving discrimination claims and whistle-blowing, there is no cap on the amount of an award that can be made, exposing businesses to potentially unlimited penalties. This makes it more important than ever, particularly in these days when redundancies are becoming increasingly commonplace, that employers always act fairly and within the rules." Alexandra Dean adds, "Any employer considering a redundancy programme, or investigating a workable alternative, should call one of our employment lawyers on 01245 228141 to ensure they understand how much they need to pay and don't run the risk of penalties." - ends - Notes to Editors: • For additional information or comment please contact: Alexandra Dean of Gepp & Sons.