According to the insurance group Allianz, its legal help line last month received a record number of calls seeking advice on staff dismissals, prompting fears that a surge in redundancies is on the way. Financial institutions and construction companies are reported to have announced approximately 10,000 job losses since the end of June 2008, and the concern is that redundancies will spread to other sectors as faltering consumer confidence affects other areas of the economy. As reported above, the announcement by M&S that it is planning to cut redundancy benefits for staff has already sparked union fears that large-scale job cuts are planned in the retail sector. Managers contemplating job cuts are advised to seek advice sooner rather than later to ensure proper procedures are followed; otherwise, businesses run the risk of potentially costly and damaging tribunal claims.