Businesses 'have been avoiding redundancies'Managers, HR staff and other employers in the UK have worked hard throughout the recession to avoid redundancies and it is this vigilance which has seen the unemployment rate rising slower than predicted, one sector commentator has claimed.

Steve Huxham, chairman The Recruitment Society, was commenting after the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the British Chambers of Commerce wrote to Lord Peter Mandelson, urging the secretary of state for business to cut plans to increase National Insurance Contributions by one per cent.

The groups claimed such a move could have a negative impact on the jobs market.

Mr Huxham said: “Let’s remember – the prime reason that unemployment figures have not risen as fast as the CIPD predicted last year is largely because employers have worked quite hard to keep people.”

He added anything which would make managers think twice about taking on new workers was not a wise move and that any changes which force Britons out of work would far outweigh any gains the government could hope to make through hikes in national insurance.