Andy Robling, Public Services Director at Hays, comments on suggestions that civil servants and public sector workers in more frontline roles and outside of London will bear the brunt of proposed public sector cuts:“The suggestion that senior civil servants located in Whitehall will remain exempt from severe cuts expected in the public sector has serious longer-term implications. If redundancies are not handled properly, then the public sector is likely to encounter serious problems in the future; not only will it be unable to attract the skilled and talented professionals needed to manage transformation, but it is likely to face a damaged reputation among its customers in the communities where the sector is a significant employer. If senior leaders do not experience the same levels of change as frontline staff, long-term trust in them is likely to suffer.
“In our recent research, a total of 85 per cent of public sector workers believe career transition services, which provide practical support to redundant workers, should be compulsory, and over half of employers in the public sector agree. Just over 70 per cent of employers in the public sector go as far as to say that the government should offer funding to support them in providing this. If staff are properly supported through redundancies, they are likely to find a new position more quickly, ultimately saving the public purse.
“With the results of the Spending Review expected in October, the public sector will look to their senior leaders and HR teams to make sure that when inevitable redundancies happen, they are handled sensitively and appropriately. If this does not happen, then staff being made redundant will find it harder to gain new employment, and the sector will fail to attract the skills and talent needed to manage this large-scale transformation.”