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Acas and CIPD launch practical guidance for employers on managing in recession to help answer a rapid rise in helpline call queries

Wednesday 18 February 2009

As calls on redundancy to the CIPD and Acas helplines continue to climb, the two organisations are launching joint guidance on managing the workforce in a recession.

Over a third (35%) of calls to the Acas helpline in January this year were related to redundancies, lay offs and business transfers. 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.

However the guidance  'Managing in Recession', launched today by the chief executives of the CIPD and Acas, 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.

Jackie Orme, CIPD chief executive says:

"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."

John Taylor, Acas chief executive says:

"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."

Notes to editors:

  • Jackie Orme and John Taylor are available for interview.
  • Managing In Recession is available on the CIPD website
  • The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has over 130,000 members and is the leading professional institute for those involved in the management and development of people.
  • Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

CIPD press enquiries:

Gregor Ridley / Jemma Walsh / Christian Zarro
020 8612 6400

Acas press enquiries

Lou Owen
020 7210 3920