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Services are considering redundancies more than other sectors

A mixed picture is emerging of how UK organisations are coping with the challenging economic conditions of the moment. More than a third (35 per cent) are planning to make redundancies this year, or are at least considering them, according to a recent survey. The Europe-wide research found that UK organisations were behind only Greece in this respect.

But the same survey, conducted by Aon Hewitt, found that a similar proportion, around a third, was expecting recruitment to increase this year. Only 6 per cent of UK companies surveyed were planning a hiring freeze. This is the lowest figure reported by the researchers since the beginning of the economic downturn, and lower than most Western European countries.

An explanation for the apparent disparities is a noticeable variation between sectors. More than 62 per cent of organisations considering redundancies were in the service industries, whereas more than two thirds of retailers were planning both to increase their payroll budget and their recruitment activity.

One trend seen across the board (reported by 94 per cent of organisations) was an expectation to increase wage bills or maintain the current level of spending.

It's not easy to remain competitive when the economic environment is so unpredictable. Acas can help your organisation adapt to volatile situations, maximising productivity while simultaneously Managing change. Acas can also guide you through Redundancy situations, and make you aware of all the options before tough decisions have to be made. Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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

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