Vodafone HR director insists HR job cuts are small-scale

HR has suffered another tumultuous week after HR job cuts were confirmed at private sector giants Vodafone and Legal & General.

Matthew Brearley, the HR director at Vodafone, told Personnel Today that within the core HR function, some redundancies would take place in the learning and development area as the company had become more efficient in how it delivered training. The internal communications function, also part of HR, would take a hit as the firm begins to rethink how it manages communications projects.

But the scale of change in HR would be “relatively small”, Brearley insisted. Last week, the communications giant announced it needed to make 500 people redundant in the UK, out of a total 10,000 staff, in response to the rising price of raw materials and increased competition. Most would be compulsory redundancies, Brearley said.

“There are no big-scale changes in HR. But in our core HR function we have an opportunity to be more efficient in some areas. In learning and development, we have become more efficient at how we deliver training – some of it’s gone online and we are smarter with how staff request training.”

Full outplacement support has been offered to those staff affected, and some staff will enter into a 90-day consultation process, he added.

Meanwhile, insurance firm Legal & General told Personnel Today the HR department would not be immune to the job cuts, with up to 450 being slashed at the firm.

A spokesman said the HR team would see “some changes” as part of the cost cuts, but refused to specify how many positions would be affected.

Fellow insurers Standard Life and RSA also announced job culls. RSA revealed plans to cut 1,200 staff, or 14% of its workforce, while Standard Life said it would be making just under 200 distribution centre staff redundant. The changes are likely to affect back office roles.

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