Headlines: December 1st, 2010

The latest survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development shows a 10 per cent increase in the number of public organisations planning redundancies. This brings the total up to 50 per cent.

The survey of over 2,000 employees represents a bleak picture of employee attitudes throughout the UK, following the £81bn of cuts to public spending announced by the Government in the Comprehensive Spending Review. In the public sector, one in four workers believe it is likely they will lose their jobs and 63 per cent say stress has increased as a result of the economic downturn, compared to 54 per cent last quarter.

Respondents across all sectors are also three times more likely to report their standard of living over the last six months has fallen (29 per cent) than to say it has increased (9per cent).

The survey also shows that stress levels are increasing with 44 per cent of public sector employees saying they are under excessive pressure at work either every day or once or twice a week. The comparable figure for the private sector is 39 per cent.

With just one-fifth of public sector staff agreeing that they trust their senior leaders compared to half disagreeing, the Institute believes that there is a danger that employee engagement could nosedive, which could have a damaging effect on the quality of public service delivery. To counter this it is important that public sector employers look to consult and involve staff over proposed changes and ensure that managers at all levels are equipped with the people management skills needed to motivate and support staff during turbulent times.