Fleet managers and transport executives have been warned to proceed with caution when making redundancies.
North West law firm Mace & Jones said transport and logistics companies could end up bogged down in a long and painful process if they rush into making redundancies later in the year.
The warning comes after finance and personnel experts forecast a surge in job losses.
A joint Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and KPMG survey found that redundancies look set to increase from 22% to 27% between the second and third quarters of 2008.
According to separate research from KPMG, more than half (53%) of companies will cut jobs as the year continues.
Phil Allen, employment law partner at Mace & Jones, urged the transport sector to carefully plan any redundancies.
“Transport bosses can walk into a minefield of costly and time consuming problems if they mis-manage the redundancy process,” he said.
“Consideration should be given to full staff meetings and consulting with elected staff representatives, which is legally required for larger exercises.
"There must always be one-to-one meetings before written notice.
“Ultimately, this is a highly sensitive process where it is easy to fall foul of the legislation.
"It will run far more smoothly with considerable preparation and effective legal advice.”