Does public sector HR have the steel to cut pay?

Desperate times call for desperate measures it seems. With the economy remaining in such a fragile state and deep and painful spending cuts looming large, should the UK follow Spain’s example and cut the pay of public sector staff?

A measure that would have previously been inconceivable to public sector HR directors should now been considered, according to some. It’s a strategy several private sector employers have been forced to implement as a way of cutting costs and limiting job losses.

A fair way of doing it would be for directors to take a larger hit on their salaries, with a sliding scale for managers and employees. The lowest paid – those earning less than £18,000 – should be unaffected.

This move – no matter how abhorrent in may sound to the trade unions – would only be a temporary measure; when the financial climate improves pay can be reinstated to previous levels.

But will HR directors have the steel to go through with it? Will they have a choice? It may be that an across-the-board pay cut is imposed by chancellor George Osborne in the emergency Budget.

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