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Employers have paid an £18.4 billion restructuring bill since the downturn

Since the economic downturn began in 2008, UK employers have paid out £18.4 billion in redundancy payments. What's more, the total cost of redundancy payments is continuing to rise; in 2011/12 the cost was 9 per cent more than the previous year.

This is according to analysis of official figures by EMW, the commercial law firm. It found that while private sector redundancies have been falling slightly since 2008/09, redundancy costs have been pushed up by new rounds of public sector job losses.

For each of 2009/10 and 2010/11, redundancy payments totalled £4.5 billion. In 2011/12, the total jumped to £4.9 billion. The number of redundancy payments was also up, from 370,000 in 2010/11 to 410,000 in 2011/12, an increase of 11 per cent.

Analysts said that public sector redundancy payments tend to be higher than for equivalent jobs in the private sector, and this could have helped drive the rise. They also pointed the finger at the double dip. Some business that had managed to hold on to their most experienced and valuable employees, found that they had to let them go the second time around. Longer-serving employees with higher salaries may have triggered higher redundancy payments.

Acas can provide training and practical help to guide any organisation through difficult times, including finding solutions to avoid Redundancy. The Redundancy training course explains the law and best practices for managing a redundancy or restructure. Visit Representation at work: how Acas can help for more information.

If your organisation is facing a redundancy situation, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free, impartial advice.

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