Last week I wrote about the solicitor from more northern climes (Cheshire in fact) who, on the Personnel Today website/podcast, was recommending employers hand out P45s to staff rather than Christmas cards this year, preferably as late as possible to Christmas Eve. A small rumpus followed. PT reports the results of a poll this week where 45% of the respondents (total number 198) “feared they would be making redundancies this Christmas”. The report doesn’t say from which business sectors or location the respondents came nor what size they were, but it makes for gloomy reading.
One kind reader of this blog said he liked what he read but didn’t find it very cheery. Sorry about that. Let me try and put a positive gloss on this. First, it was a small sample so I’d query how representative it is of the wider economy. Secondly, the 45% that said they would be making redundancies doesn’t necessarily translate as being “mass redundancies” a la Goldman Sachs or Citigroup -it could just mean one or two. I am seeing quite a few people at the moment who have been selected for redundancy where it is clear that there are “issues” on the basis for selection.
In other words, in my opinion, many employers are using the economic downturn as a good excuse to “weed out” those people whose face doesn’t fit. Undoubtedly this was what our friend from Cheshire had in mind, but it doesn’t make it any more acceptable as advice on “best practice”.
As usual, if you want any advice on any of these issues please call me on 0207 464 8433 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org