Nearly half UK workforce thinks businesses are exploiting the recession

Nearly half the UK workforce thinks their employer is actively exploiting the recession by imposing unnecessary pay cuts, reduced hours and redundancies, research has revealed.

The Keep Britain Working campaign group said the results were a “wake-up call to employers”.

The poll of 2,900 workers also revealed about half were more pessimistic about their job prospects in July than they were during the previous month, and 95% of employees were willing to make sacrifices to preserve their jobs.

James Reed, founder of the Keep Britain Working campaign, said: “Our finding that some UK workers feel exploited is a wake-up call to employers not to take flexibility for granted.

“With 95% of workers willing to make sacrifices to help preserve jobs, the challenge for bosses is to explain the hard choices that their organisations face, and work together with staff to explore innovative solutions.”

Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, added the findings were “a reminder” to employers about the importance of strong communication with their workforce.

He said: “Employers always need to think about the effectiveness of their communication. When you think you have done enough you are just beginning and need to try harder.

“[These figures] are a reminder to employers that they may think everybody understands the situation, as they read in the press about redundancies, but each employer has to make his own case. It’s a reminder that you need to constantly make sure the workforce understands what management has proposed and why.”

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