Workers take action to help employers survive recession

More than half of UK workers have taken some form of action to help their employers survive the recession, according to research published today.

Unpaid overtime is the most commonly cited form of assistance with one in three workers claiming they have worked longer hours without extra pay.

The poll, commissioned by insolvency trade body R3, found that around 15% of employees said they had either accepted a pay freeze or deliberately not requested a pay rise, while 14% had taken unpaid leave.

In total, 53% of respondents said they had made some form of personal sacrifice in order to help keep their employer afloat, the Guardian reports.

President of R3, Peter Sargent, said: “These people are the unsung heroes of the recession. In some cases we’ve seen they have made the difference between [a business’s] survival and collapse.”

Earlier this year, more than 80% of KPMG’s UK partners signed up to a scheme to reduce hours and pay, while BT cut executive pay increases and proposed that staff in a small area of its business take up to a year off in return for agreeing to a 75% salary cut. A BT spokeswoman said the scheme was “very well received” by those who were offered it.

Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “These redundancy avoidance strategies are uncharacteristic of anything that happened in the 1990s recession.

“In the past, companies never thought about the negative effects of mass compulsory redundancies. Now they realise if you want a happy, engaged workforce, you don’t start by dismissing as many people as you can, as soon as you can.”

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