Employment strategies for the downturn

Employment strategies for the downturn


The Recruitment Society's latest event, held at Dechert LLP's London offices on the evening of Wednesday 19th November, focused on some of the issues that HR professionals can expect to face in the current difficult economic climate

Introducing the session, Charles Wynn-Evans - who heads up Dechert's employment law team - said they had originally considered calling it ‘A rough guide to dismissals', but ultimately opted for the more tactful ‘Employment law challenges of the credit crunch'.  However, the rejected title accurately described much of the material covered during the course of the evening.

Charles began by reviewing some of the key issues likely to face HR professionals as a result of the credit crunch, together with a number of possible retention strategies.  He looked at the pros and cons of everything from hiring freezes and voluntary redundancy schemes to terms & conditions and retention bonuses, considering the downside risks to confidentiality, intellectual property and morale along the way.

Then partner Jason Butwick provided a practical, whistle-stop tour of both collective and individual redundancy processes, stressing the need for fairness and objectivity at all times and highlighting the many pitfalls likely to befall the unwary or the uninformed.

Charles returned to conclude the formal proceedings by looking at how to handle ‘difficult' individual departures, from the potential costs of litigation and compensation arrangements through to PR impact and the effects on morale.  He closed with a selection of email ‘own goals', drawn from actual cases, which underlined the need for caution in communicating any aspects of sensitive employment-related issues.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

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