From the TUC

Alternatives to redundancy summit 26 April

17 Apr 2012, by in Labour market

As with previous recessions, far too many employees are still being made redundant. The latest ONS figures record 612,000 redundancies in the last 12 month period – up 30,000 on the previous year’s figures. 

The human cost of redundancy for workers is very clear, but do companies really have to engage in a “sack-race” every time the economy slows down? This question will be the topic of the TUC’s Alternatives to Redundancy summit on 26 April.

Racing to redundancy can cost businesses an awful lot of money. As well as the direct costs of paying off their workers, there are also the indirect costs of the management time spent implimenting the process. Once the redundancies are complete there is inevitable damage to staff morale and productivity in the subsequent period. Finally, when the economy begins to recover, there are the costs of recruitment and training to re-fill the jobs that people had previously been paid to leave the organisation.  

There are a range of other strategies that businesses can use to improve efficiency or reduce costs. These include improving business planning and targeting investment to improve productivity (and remember that the money may well be there as the UK corporate sector is currently sitting on record levels of financial reserves while business leaders wonder what will happen next), and proper planning and development of workplace skills.

A strategy to minimise redundancies would also include a freeze on recruitment (this sounds obvious, but does not always happen). With  the support of the employees and their trade unions, it might also include working reduced hours or even temporary stoppages for a short period. There could often also be a role for secondments, lending out some key workers and recovering some of the cost of their wages.

In order to help employers and trade unions develop better strategies, the TUC is holding an Alternatives to Redundancy summit here at Congress House 1.00-3.00 on Thursday 26 April, with contributions from:  

  • Brendan Barber, General Secretary TUC
  • John Taylor, Chief Executive ACAS
  • Sarah Anderson CBE, Chair Call Britannia
  • David Lennan, Co-Founder StaffShare
  • John Duncan, Group HR Director, Royal Mail
  • Sir Steve Bullock, Chair of the Workforce Board, Local Government Association

Andrew Burke, Chair of Crisp Thinking will moderate the debate.

Registration is free, using the link below:


Please note that this event will be filmed for future release.