More than half of employers have already cut jobs: survey

News

More than half of employers have already cut jobs: survey

A new survey shows more than one-half of employers have reduced the size of their workforce in the last six months.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

A new survey shows more than one-half of employers have reduced the size of their workforce in the last six months.
 
The survey of 220 mainly HR professionals by the law firm Deacons highlights the dramatic change in employment intentions among Australian employers since the Global Financial Crisis.
 
Lower hiring expectations
 
The survey was conducted in late-February 2009 at seminars in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth and showed:
  • 38% of employers said they had lower hiring expectations for the next 12 months (compared to 18% in August 2008).
  • 29% said they had expected to downsize in the next 12 months (4%).
  • Just 5% said they expected to increase the size of their workforce this year (47%).
  • 40% expected a downwards trend in executive fixed remuneration (18%).
  • 65% plan to review their employment contracts in the next six to 12 months.
 
A significant majority, 86%, said they understood the award coverage of their workforce.
 
However Deacons workplace relations partner Stuart Kollmorgen said new obligations coming into effect after 1 July 2009 may present challenges for employers intending to downsize.
 
Redundancies a challenge
 
These include a redundancy standard of up to 16 weeks pay (except for employer with fewer than 15 employees) under the National Employment Standards, obligations under ‘modern awards’ and the introduction of a new decision-maker, Fair Work Australia.
 
Kollmorgen said employers will also need to be in a position to show they have considered redeployment in all related companies and the decision and selection for redundancy meet all consultation requirements applicable.
 
‘Employers may find these obligations more difficult to satisfy and a greater number of redundancy dismissals may be regarded as unfair,’ he said.
 
‘This is a timely reminder for employers to familiarise themselves with the upcoming IR changes, particularly considering that redundancies and retrenchments are set to increase in the coming months.’
 
Post details