New Guidance Notes for Employers on Managing in the Recession

Acas, the arbitration and conciliation service, and the CIPD have just published new joint guidance notes to employers on managing the workforce in a recession.

The guidance emphasises the importance of organisations managing for the long-term and being innovative in their approach to avoid job cuts wherever possible. It also focuses on the fundamental importance of managing people properly in order to maintain employee engagement, wellbeing and productivity as rising work intensity threatens to increase stress and conflict at work.

Finally, the guidance highlights the importance of organisations developing redundancy strategies so they manage this difficult issue sensitively and within the law.

In January, over a third (35%) of calls to the Acas helpline were related to redundancies, lay offs and business transfers. And figures just released by the CIPD’s HR helpline show that calls on redundancy in the same month have doubled since a year ago and now make up 18% of the total.

Launching the new guidance notes, Jackie Orme, CIPD Chief Executive commented:

“Managing people properly so that they are motivated and committed to the organisation has never been more important than it is now. Many employers are looking to their employees to develop new ways of working to cut costs and boost productivity, often in an environment where people have lost colleagues to redundancy. In these circumstances the extent to which employees are engaged and willing to go the extra mile for the organisation is critical.”

Acas’s Chief Executive, John Taylor, added:

“Many of those organisations that were quick to lay off people in the last recession struggled to meet renewed business demand when the economy picked up. The challenge facing all employers is to engage the workforce for the challenges of today and prepare the organisation for the opportunities tomorrow brings. The light at the end of the tunnel may seem a long way off but those employers that treat people well now will benefit from less workplace conflict and a more committed workforce.” 

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