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Hot summer of hell, predicts expert

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This summer will see a rise in employee discontent and dismissals, predicts an employment expert.

Jonathan Whittaker, employment partner at Cheshire law firm SAS Daniels, said that summer 2008 may well bring unprecedented unrest in the office.

"We're due a consistently hot summer, but we're also a country yet to fully discover the workplace performance benefits of air conditioning - top that with personal finance pressures, likely threat of job losses, huge pressures on staff to perform more efficiently and more productively, and the workplace becomes a true pressure cooker."

Whittaker said he expects to see claims of employees going AWOL and late returns after a long lunch in the sun. The lack of sporting interest may also cause further unrest, according to Whittaker: "For the first time in many years there will be no major summer sporting event involving popular-interest UK sports teams this summer.

"Not being involved in Euro 2008 is a tremendous downer: in past years rugby, cricket and football tournaments have been an excuse for management to take their foot off the staff pressure pedal, and break down the barriers between the ranks. Yes, we have the Olympics, but time zones mean the main events will be happening in the middle of the night."

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