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Spending cuts 'to intensify work pressures in public sector'

HR News |  07/02/2011
Spending cuts 'to intensify work pressures in public...Public sector employees may have to "work in different ways" to fill the space vacated by departed colleagues, the Work Foundation has said.

Stephen Overell, associate director of policy at the Foundation, said the vital nature of public services meant that the work must continue, even if there are fewer employees to carry out essential tasks.

As a result, employees who remain face the prospect of more intense jobs, and HR will be required to manage this change as effectively as possible.

"This is the big year for cuts, so it is going to be an increasing problem in the year ahead, but it is already happening," Mr Overell commented.

"Health services and local authorities are making very big cuts in their workforces – these services have often been built up for a long period of time and they can't just disappear."

He said that people have to work in different ways to try to cover for people who lose their jobs.

"There is also a lot of uncertainty, of course, in how organisations are being run and the kind of services they offer, so that will increase intensity as well," Mr Overell added.

In the private sector, he suggested things are somewhat different, as the majority of businesses have entered a recovery cycle.

Fewer jobs cuts can now be expected among privately-owned companies, although Mr Overell suggested that workers will share many of the fears held by their public sector counterparts, with regards the wider economy.

"Things are very uncertain and we've just had some very gloomy news about growth, so there is big anxiety about the general economic climate, order books and so on," he added.

"Put it all together and you're getting a picture of both greater stress and work intensity."

Last month, the Office for National Statistics reported a 0.5 per cent drop in gross domestic product for the three-month period between October and December 2010.

This came after four consecutive quarters of economic growth following the end of the recession.

Posted by John Lynes


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