It is no secret that we are going through some economic difficulties at the moment. Nor is it unapparent that small businesses are being particularly affected by the downturn, and facing such financial problems that many people are being made redundant.

However, almost half of all companies are planning on making job cuts, with as many as one in ten losing their jobs.

Randstad have revealed that 46% of Human Resources (HR) decision makers are planning to cut employee numbers in the next few months. 22% of these, plan to cut more than ten percent of their staff.

Who will be worst hit?

65% of the firms cutting jobs will be focusing on clerical and administrative departments, while almost 50% of firms are planning on cutting managerial positions.

Unsurprisingly, those with the least experience are expecting to be hit the hardest. A quarter of respondents of the questioned Human Resource decision makers said they were looking to cut entry-level posts. A third of businesses will target people with less than five years experience on the job.

What other steps are being taken?

The decision makers are also said to be looking at other cost saving options, such as reducing expenses, cutting bonuses and implementing below-inflation salary increases.

Also according to the HR representatives, staff members of businesses are taking less sick days and working longer hours through fear of job security.

A breach of Equal Opportunities Rules?

Figures have also shown that, in general, about twice as many women are being made redundant compared to men in an effort for smaller businesses to cut down on maternity leave and flexible working hours.

At a recent National Economic Council meeting, a group of senior female ministers revealed their worries that equal opportunities rules are being breached, as employers are being increasingly put off by the additional cost of new legislations like maternity leave.

The ministers have also called for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to get involved in the matter.

Harriet Harman has said: “there is a major fear about women being targeted by their employers during the downturn. This is unlawful.”

Are New Measures Needed?

The ministers have suggested several new measures that can be put in place to protect women’s jobs including training in order to help them compete for jobs and monitoring firms’ treatment of female employees.

However, according to Dr John Philpott, chief economist and public policy director at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the figures are incorrect.

He has said that more women will lose their jobs due to this recession compared to problems in the past, but that this is purely because there are more female workers now than in any previous economic downturn.

This news comes as last week’s figures from the Office for National Statistics reported that 1.92 million people in the UK are currently unemployed.

Your Opinion:

Are new measures needed to protect jobs?

Tell us your opinions on job cuts and if you feel particular areas of employment or genders are being affected.

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