Recession and Employment
The Autumn statement covers a lot of ground but one thing that is built into the projections is a sustained recession for the UK economy, set against a backdrop of inflation driven by energy cost inflation and the uncertainty associated with a war in Europe.
Seemingly iron clad young organisations, such as Amazon, have announced plans to reduce its workforce by 3% with a senior executive announcing via Reuters that:
“We continue to face an unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment. In light of this, we’ve been working over the last few months to further prioritize what matters most to our customers and the business.”
This strategic realignment and rationalisation is expected to be a common theme in the year ahead, for businesses of all sizes. This is not especially uncommon for business and more mature organisations can be reasonably adept at handling downturns.
Rationalisation, refocus and sadly redundancy puts a spotlight on the employment policies and procedures of organisations. It highlights contractual issues and tests the resilience of employee handbooks.
We have seen many organisations looking at these core policies and procedures, if only to make their organisations more flexible and able to adapt to a challenging economic backdrop. Sadly some are looking at downsizing. As a result of this we are seeing an increased interest in settlement agreements.
As ACAS points out; “settlement agreements are a tool that can be used to deal with workplace problems. Most commonly they are used to help end an employment relationship in a mutually acceptable way.”
Organisations looking to review their employment terms and conditions, company handbooks or who need guidance on settlement agreements should contact us for early, confidential advice.