Andy Robling, Public Services Director at Hays, has offered his damning verdict on the potential long term effects of the proposed legislation to cut the redundancy terms for 500,000 civil servants:

“With a large deficit to tackle, the move by Ministers to reduce the spend on redundancies for staff and bring the terms into line with the private sector is hardly surprising, particularly given that the gap between the two sectors is narrowing. But this short-term move may result in greater problems for the public sector in the future. If redundancies are not handled appropriately, not only could it damage the reputation of the sector as an employer for years to come, which will hinder its ability to attract the right specialist skills to manage transformation, but it will also have a negative impact on the remaining staff.

In our recent research, a total of 85% of public sector workers believe career transition support should be compulsory, and over half of employers in the public sector agree. Just over 70% of employers in the public sector go as far as to say the government should offer funding to support them in providing this, compared to 60% in the private sector.

If financial support is limited and set to be reduced further, HR professionals in the public sector need to consider how they can support staff both emotionally and practically during this period of transition. As well as identifying ways to redeploy staff, they should offer opportunities to retrain and provide advice and counselling. Effective career transition support helps employees being made redundant find work again more quickly, which will ultimately save the public purse.”