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Over a third of employers are considering making redundancies over the next six months, figures show.

Research from Pinsent Masons reveals that many businesses are unaware of the protocol when making redundancies, which could put the 37 per cent of companies considering them at risk.

"The half of respondents (48 per cent) who did not anticipate any complications with their potential redundancy programmes should probably think again as a redundancy exercise is rarely problem free," suggested employment partner Tom Flanagan.

Of those questioned by the law firm, 84 per cent of employers said they were unaware of the correct length of time needed to consult with employees before laying off staff.

Earlier this month, the Office for National Statistics revealed that the unemployment rate was on the increase, standing at 7.1 per cent in the three months leading up to March.

This marks a 0.8 per cent increase on the previous quarter and 1.8 per cent rise over the course of a year.

Furthermore, 286,000 redundancies were made in the first quarter, up by 27,000 on figures from the previous three months.

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