Redundancy threat now hangs over 13 million UK workers

Talent Q survey of public and private sector organisations reveals that 44 per cent are likely to make redundancies as a result of the recession. 

The findings, show marked differences across sectors, with civil servants the most likely to hang on to their jobs in the current economic environment.

Employees most at risk, at a rate double that of the public sector, are those in the industrial and manufacturing sector. Here, falling demand means that nearly 60 per cent of employers are currently contemplating lay-offs. 

While many tens of thousands of jobs have already been lost in the financial services sector, 40 per cent of companies are still likely to further reduce their headcount.    

The survey indicates that these likely redundancies, when coupled with a record low in the number of job vacancies, will see the UK unemployment total which currently stands at 2.03 million people, increase steeply over the coming months. 

Employers’ sentiment in respect of headcount was measured through questioning HR professionals at a range of organisations – capturing the views of people who are at the coal-face of managing headcount. 

With worrying implications about the ability of UK plc to quickly manage its way out of the current economic crisis, two thirds of those surveyed also revealed that their organisations are not making best use of their employees.

Dr Alan Bourne, director of Talent Q, said: “The picture painted by HR people across the UK is stark, with no sector untouched by redundancies.

“We found that the public sector is likely to be the most robust in terms of maintaining headcount, thanks chiefly to the Government’s spending commitments.  However, for employees in industrial and manufacturing companies, the next few months will be especially unsettling, with the sword of Damocles ever present.

“Organisations indicated that they would like to have a more integrated and robust approach to managing their people, especially when it comes to spotting and developing talented individuals or making sure that people are in the right jobs. 

” In response, Talent Q would urge them to make greater use of assessment techniques which will help inform all key decisions around human resources.”

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