You can take our bonus, but dont raid our pension
Tough Choices: The Hays Talent Management Survey
One in every three employers is currently considering changing staff conditions with a view to cutting costs but nearly one in four employees would take voluntary redundancy if given the chance.
When it comes to compulsory redundancy the battle lines are still in place between executives and their staff.
Faced with needing to slash staffing costs by 10% via a round of redundancies employers run the risk of being accused of not taking responsibility for the pain the business is in.
- Three out of four employers say they would make redundancies across the board whereas only half of staff believes that is a fair option.
- Four out of ten staff wants the higher earners to bear the brunt of job cuts,
- While less than one in six employers would look to the high earners to take the pain.
The findings into workplace attitudes towards staff cost cutting come from a survey conducted by Hays plc, the worlds largest specialist recruiter, of nearly 2,300 workers, comprised of about 300 employers and the rest employees.
Tough Choices: The Hays Talent Management Survey reveals some level of agreement between bosses and their staff. When asked what would be the best method of achieving a 10% cut in staffing costs:
More than eight out of ten employers and employees think voluntary redundancy is a good option. Only axing agency workers ranks higher in priority for an employer as a human resource cost-cutting tool.
Three quarters of both employers and employees think it is fair to cut discretionary performance bonuses if urgent staff savings need to be made.
Only one in four of both employers and employees would opt for a cut to their pension.
Alistair Cox, Chief Executive Officer of Hays, said:
We all face some tough choices in the months ahead. Perhaps unexpectedly both employers and employees are in agreement that it may be preferable to look hard at bonuses, the company perks and benefits and even consider a cut in the working week.
Staff are unwilling, however, to want to take a straight pay cut or give up what they see as important benefits like pension contributions. Despite the threat to jobs today, employees are still concerned with their long term financial planning and see their pension benefit as a hugely important element of this. Employers should recognise this as they consider how these benefits may need to be changed.
Employers looking to cut costs now via redundancy programmes need to factor into these plans where their future talent will come from, both to benefit from the eventual recovery as well as nurturing the next generation of leaders in the business. Despite the immediacy of today's economic challenges, the need for a properly thought-through long term people strategy has never been greater.