A striking problem

By: Fanny Marshall

Date: 28 October 2009

Are we set for a winter of discontent? News that airline workers are to vote for their traditional festive go-slow in December comes this week as early holiday greetings to us all. BA workers are not alone – bus drivers are currently staging their eighth strike in almost as many months. But what should you do if you're faced with a legal dispute at work? As a small business, it is unlikely you will ever have to handle an all-out strike, but commercial disputes are all too common. For instance, cases of bad debts have increased by nearly ten per cent this year alone. If a rubber cheque or endlessly delayed payment has seriously damaged your business, you may well be tempted to sue – with vigour. The trouble is that going to court can be costly and time-consuming. Before you go down that road, make sure you:

  • assess whether you have a clear, strong case
  • try to negotiate an amicable resolution
  • decide if you need to pay for legal advice
  • accept a reasonable offer rather than going to court
  • are prepared for a long, slow and pricy process if you pursue legal action.

Remember there's no point wasting time and money chasing someone who cannot pay. Be prepared to compromise and whatever you do, don't ignore the risks of losing any legal action you undertake. For more advice on how to handle disputes visit www.lawdonut.co.uk.

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