Acas and CIPD have launched a guide for employers designed to help management during a recession.
The guide is in response to an escalation of calls to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Acas helplines requesting advice on redundancy and restructuring.
More than one-third (35%) of calls to the Acas helpline in January this year were related to redundancies, lay offs and business transfers, the conciliation organisation said.
Meanwhile, the CIPD said calls to its HR helpline have doubled since a year ago and now make up 18% of the total.
The guidance, Managing in Recession, launched today by CIPD and Acas chief executives, emphasises the importance of organisations managing for the long-term and being innovative in their approach to avoid job cuts wherever possible.
Jackie Orme, CIPD chief executive, said: “Managing people properly so that they are motivated and committed to the organisation has never been more important. Many employers are looking to their employees to develop new ways of working to cut costs and boost productivity, often in an environment where people have lost colleagues to redundancy. In these circumstances, the extent to which employees are engaged and willing to go the extra mile for the organisation is critical.”
Acas chief executive John Taylor said that organisations which were quick to lay people off in the last recession struggled to meet renewed business demand when the economy picked up.
“The challenge facing all employers is to engage the workforce for the challenges of today and prepare the organisation for the opportunities tomorrow brings,” he said.
The guidance also highlights the importance of organisations developing redundancy strategies so they manage this difficult issue sensitively and within the law.
Earlier this week, BMW caused outrage among its staff after it laid off 850 agency workers at the Oxfordshire plant, which makes the Mini.