Restructuring at caterer Elior forces HR chief to axe 15% of head-office jobs

One in six head office employees at catering company Elior has been made redundant following a major restructure.

Elior’s HR director Paul Reynolds told Personnel Today that he led the redundancy consultation process, which eventually made 66 of 140 at-risk administrative workers redundant.

Reynolds was determined to make the cuts as quickly as possible in one go, rather than dragging them out for months in several phases.

“We saw this as being one cut, and one cut only. That was the best way,” he said. “When I first joined the business, there were pockets that wanted to restructure, for example in marketing and sales, so I advised them not to [restructure] yet so we could do it unilaterally, all in one hit. That way, staff felt the pain, but then moved on.”

Reynolds could only guarantee there would be no more job cuts in the next year “if we meet our cost targets”.

Elior changed its support structure to make savings and better align itself to the marketplace, according to Reynolds.

He said making sure staff were aware of these “real” reasons was crucial to the redundancy process going as smoothly as possible.

“We didn’t try to hide the reason for redundancies – and I made sure we had HR people going to all offices that were affected, so staff could have conversations with them,” he added.

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