By Daniel Pollard - 23 October 2020
UK employers consulted with staff on nearly half a million redundancies during the pandemic - roughly 1.5% of the working population. The true number will have been much higher as small-scale redundancies are not captured by government statistics. The furlough scheme will have given many employers an opportunity to pause but as the scheme comes to an end, employers face some tough choices.
Over recent months we have seen a huge amount of creativity from our clients in finding ways to minimise redundancies. Over the next couple of weeks we will share 12 possible strategies adopted by our clients and some thoughts of our own to help reduce cost without compulsory lay-offs.
5. Time Off
This is a variation on the theme of “Pay Cuts” but offers a quid pro quo in the form of reduced working time.
- Offering unpaid, part-paid or “benefit only” sabbaticals.
- Offering 4 (or less) working days a week.
- Offering job share arrangements.
- Requiring employees to use up holiday before busier times resume. This has the additional benefit of reducing termination costs if dismissals become necessary.
The key point here is that these arrangements may be positively valued by certain staff – either those with caring commitments, those wanting to reduce their workload and (if and when travel becomes possible) those who want to take time away. It will be necessary to consider and be clear about the extent to which these arrangements are temporary and which are permanent.
When considering sabbaticals, the main decision to make is if the employment will come to an end (with some form of offer to engage) or if the employment will continue (with a defined return date).
For all 12 ways to reduce HR costs without redundancies click here.