Jackie Orme in firing line over manner and timing of CIPD redundancies


Furious CIPD staff have hit out at chief executive Jackie Orme over the timing and handling of the redundancies announced at the start of April.

Employees affected by the job cuts contacted Personnel Today to express their anger at the manner of their sacking and the fact redundancies were revealed just a day after a new high-profile director of HR capability – former BP vice-president of talent Stephanie Bird – started work.

The 41 redundancies at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s head office in Wimbledon came as Jackie Orme marked her first anniversary in charge.

Staff were e-mailed on 1 April that they had to be in the office the following morning. Affected employees were then informed, which led to many “struggling to comprehend” the situation, according to insiders.

One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said staff morale had nosedived since Orme replaced former chief Geoff Armstrong.

“There have been constant changes since she took over and people’s morale has been hit,” the employee said. “The [redundancies] are especially hard to take when the person telling you your job is no longer available or at risk is earning £300,000 and the people being let go are earning between £20,000 and £30,000.”

Another employee affected by the changes added: “This was poor timing considering the announcement of a new director joining. It’s not appropriate in the current situation. Do they need all these directors when they are getting rid of staff?”

The employees, who will leave at the end of the month, claimed there was now an air of uncertainty hanging over remaining staff at the institute.

“The mood has definitely got worse; no-one feels safe,” one said.

The cuts are also embarrassing for senior figures at the CIPD as they come just days after it detailed money-saving alternatives for employers to job cuts and argued that redundancies should be a last resort.

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