Headlines: October 18th, 2010

In advance of next Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review, research by recruitment consultants Badenoch & Clark has found that morale amongst public sector workers has hit an all time low.

The survey, conducted last week, revealed over a fifth of those working in the public sector have no idea what to expect in next Wednesday’s Review, whilst one in five said they were expecting significant job losses. A further quarter said they were concerned that job losses would leave their department hugely under resourced. A sixth of workers thought there would be no job losses but the cuts would have further impacts on morale.

Those working in Central Government were most apprehensive about the potential impact of cuts on resources, with a third stating they were concerned. Central Government workers were amongst those most anxious about significant job losses, with a further third stating they’re expecting redundancies. Local Government workers were close behind with over a quarter worried about significant job losses.

Some respondents saw potential benefits to austerity measures, however, with two fifths believing the cuts would help their department work more effectively and over a quarter expecting the Spending Review to prompt the up-skilling and re-training of incumbent staff.

Nicola Linkleter, Managing Director of Public Sector at Badenoch & Clark, commented: “The comprehensive spending review has been looming for a number of months, with considerable speculation regarding the impact on jobs. It is, therefore, little wonder that there is a huge amount of trepidation within the sector. It is clear that many feel that, due to recruitment freezes, they are already under resourced and this is only going to get worse.”

She continued: “Employers must act quickly to repair relationships with employees and offer assurances, where possible, that their department will be able to cope with any cuts forced upon them. Managers must be honest and open with employees and set out a firm plan for the future, so that morale can begin to improve.”