GPs warned against rushing to make staff redundant

A top employment lawyer has warned on the legal pitfalls of the redundancy process, as increasing numbers of GPs decide to rationalise practice staff.

Jean Sapeta of Hempsons Solicitors
Jean Sapeta of Hempsons Solicitors

Recent research by GPonline.com has shown that shrinking profits forced 11% of practices to lay off practice staff in 2012, 8% had cut GP staff and 5% had reduced nursing staff.

Many practices in England are also reviewing their staffing structures and skill mix to meet the new challenges of the NHS reforms.

Solicitor Jean Sapeta, of Hempsons, is currently advising practices on staff redundancies and has produced a comprehensive guide on the process for our sister website at medeconomics.co.uk.

Ms Sapeta said: ‘Employment law is highly regulated, particularly in relation to discrimination. The penalties for getting that wrong are extremely high. And my experience is that GPs have a low awareness of the risks that are attached to making wrong employment decisions.’

‘If they want to do this properly in a structured way, my view is that they should take early advice on the strategy and the general way forward rather than get halfway through and try to unpick it later on – which is what I often see happen.’

Read the Medeconomics guide to redundancy and watch exclusive videos of Jean Sapeta on tackling the key HR issues for practices in 2013.

(You will need to be registered for a free trial on Medeconomics to view this content)

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