Not too long ago, banker was a dirty word. Now it is a benefit scrounger. Whilst many relish the opportunity to praise Thatcherist ideologies, others join unions in increasing numbers or take industrial action.

There is no doubt it is a tough time for employers, no matter what their size. The endless stream of large (and previously stable) employers going into administration or ceasing to trade is testament to this.

It is clear, despite assurances, that times remain strained and many employers are faced with making redundancies or taking steps to cut their wage bill. Increasingly, some employers seek to side step compliance with employment laws in favour of cost cutting or simply fail to handle these situations well. Take the unfortunate events last year at HMV for example. Not pretty.

Knowing what to do, how and when if you are facing employment related issues helps manage a difficult situation. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. It really does make sense to take advice and make sure that, in times of uncertainty, the unexpected really is that.