Employers overlook flexible working alternative to redundancy


Only 22 per cent of UK managers believe their companies are very effective at redeploying employees rather than making redundancies. And according to new global research it’s a worldwide problem, with almost three in ten employers believing their organisations are “not effective”. Mark Hodgson, practice leader of Talent Management in Right Management UK & Ireland said: “The results suggest that businesses aren’t seeing redeployment as a feasible way of making savings and keeping staff. Businesses can’t afford to underestimate the importance of a flexible workforce in this tough economic climate.”

He added: “Redundancies shouldn’t be the only option, employers need to consider alternatives rather than losing skilled and talented staff who they will want back when the economy picks up again.”

The survey, by Right Management, the talent and career management expert within ManpowerGroup, also found one in twelve (8%) of UK businesses do not know if they will need to make redundancies in the next six months; 77% of employers feel they will make no layoffs at all in the first six months of 2013, down from 81% in 2012. However, this is a higher figure than the global average of 69%, and no employers reported they would make significantly more layoffs (down from 4% in 2012).

“The figures for the year ahead paint a mixed picture. As the UK economy remains flat and growth stalls, companies are becoming increasingly unsure if they will have to let staff go,” said Hodgson.

“It would appear that businesses are losing confidence that they will get through the next six months without making redundancies which is concerning. Employers don’t want to lose talented staff but they often think that making redundancies is the only way they can cut costs.”

These issues were explored by ManpowerGroup, which is a World Economic Forum (WEF) strategic partner, when they led discussions at the WEF Annual Meeting (Davos) 2013.

Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President says, “Companies everywhere must prepare for one certainty – uncertainty. This unpredictability requires the development of strategies that strikes the right balance between the need for built-in flexibility of plan and results.”

This global study on redundancy trends was carried out during the second half of 2012 in more than 42 countries and territories. It was conducted as part of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world. The redundancy trend data will be updated every six months and will serve as a barometer of workforce trends and activities.