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A time for employers to lift their eyes to the horizon

24 March 2014

At long last, the UK appears to be emerging from recession.

In recent months there have certainly been many positive economic growth indicators, however the general business experience is still one of uncertainty about the future.

This said, those employers who have managed to weather the economic storm without laying off large numbers of workers will be pleased that they are best placed to take advantage of the potential upturn by having retained their knowledge and skills base. However, the recruitment market is warming up and now is the time to make sure you can retain your key staff when they might be tempted away by a competitor. A “carrot and stick” approach is often required.

It is important to think about incentives:

  • Do some salary benchmarking to make sure you remain attractive when compared with your competitors.
  • Share schemes can incentivise staff by using the growth potential in the company, without having to find additional cash – and there are still ways of doing this tax efficiently.

On the flip side, make sure your non-compete restrictions and confidential information clauses are tightly drafted, and review your policies and practical arrangements around data security, use of social media, and client satisfaction.

We have seen fewer large scale redundancy exercises since the dark days of 2007-2008. However, many employers have been continuing to review their organisational structure for efficiencies. In some cases this might involve changing terms and conditions of employment or outsourcing certain functions. In other cases it involves carefully scrutinising the contribution and effectiveness of individuals in particular (often senior) roles. The solution may be to move them sideways, or even out of the organisation altogether.

We have helped numerous organisations with all these kinds of activities. If you think any of these strategies may be useful, then please do get in touch with us for an initial no-obligation conversation.

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Matthew Clayton MA LLM (Cantab), CIPP/E
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