Helpline calls for redundancy advice increase as credit crunch continues

Legal helplines have reported a record number of calls from businesses asking how to sack staff as the credit crunch takes hold, it has emerged.

Insurance group Allianz said its Lawphone helpline received a massive increase in the number of calls concerning redundancy in July. More than a third of its calls were about employment issues, compared with just 2.4% in the same month last year, it said.

The news follows a gloomy report by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) earlier this month which predicted that up to 300,000 jobs would be axed by 2011 as the economy goes into reverse.

Despite previous warnings about job losses, the BCC report was the first business study to predict a technical recession – two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Construction companies and financial institutions have announced some 10,000 job cuts in the past two months alone.

But the UK’s business leaders may be among the best placed in the world to deal with any recession, a survey suggested last week.

The Global Leadership Forecast 2008/2009 by leadership consultancy DDI found that out of 13,700 HR professionals from 76 countries, 44% of respondents ranked the UK as number one at having very good or excellent leaders – compared with 37% globally.

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