UK companies axe jobs and perks in cost-cutting frenzy

Most
UK businesses have had to make major cutbacks in the past six months, including
reducing staff numbers, cutting pensions and bonus schemes and dropping
training programmes.

The
Job Index Survey of 1,200 HR managers by TMP Worldwide shows four out of 10
firms polled made redundancies in the first six months of 2002.

Almost
a fifth have slashed training budgets, 13 per cent have cut staff bonuses, and
one in 10 have cut staff perks including pensions, the survey claims.

The
survey also finds:


three out of 10 organisations expect staff numbers to increase during the third
quarter of this year


so far this year six out of 10 companies have had to communicate bad news to
staff, including redundancies.


more than half of those communicating bad news have done so through the wrong
communication channels including e-mail, word-of-mouth and the media.


more than half thought that bad news had no effect on the company’s employer
brand – only a quarter believed it would have a negative impact.


eight out of 10 firms think that they have a good employer brand – although
only 60 per cent think it is good enough to attract and retain staff.


42 per cent of companies intend to improve training.


a fifth plan to increase salaries to improve the employer brand.


one third are planning to offer flexible working practices.

By Paul Nelson

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