back to article Half of UK firms have lay-off plans

Half of British businesses are either certain they will have to lay off staff in the next six months or are considering such action. Ten per cent of firms questioned by the British Chamber of Commerce are certain to cut jobs and 40 per cent are considering lay offs. One in five firms believe the British economy will return to …


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  1. Andrew Moore


    But how many of them are just using "The Recession" as an excuse to save money on a few salaries while making the remainder of the workforce pick up the jobs and duties left by those who've been made redundant (with no overtime pay).

  2. Stef 4
    IT Angle


    "460 firms answered the survey - 35 per cent had less than 10 staff, 33 per cent of them employ between 10 and 49 staff, 12 per cent had 50 to 99 employees"

    It would be nice to know if this "half of uk firms" is from the 35% that has less than 10 employees which is laying off staff, or if it is that 20% with over 100 employees that is laying off staff. With only 460 firms answering the survey, anyone know how the results relate to the country as a whole (regarding numbers of employees)?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news then

    Enough of the doom and gloom already, most of us are living in it .

    Look at it the other way half the companies in the UK have no plans to lay anyone of.

    Bring out the bubbly, is that glass half full or half empty.

  4. Mike007


    but did they aso provide a breakdown of the figures to see how it compares between different companies? ie. are bigger or smaller companies more likely to be considering laying off staff etc?

  5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

    @Stef 4

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    If you have a truly random pool of companies, then the 460 firms is a large enough sample to get a good idea of what's to come.

    And that is a big *if*.

    Andrew Moore has the right idea in that talking about laying off staff is a way to start negotiations for reduction in salaries and benefits and to roll those cost savings forward.

    The economy has bottomed, however that doesn't mean that you can't still be laid off or that your company that you work for will be viable long term.

    Here in the states, I've seen a 30-35% reduction in salaries being offered where companies are bottom feeding.

    The irony is that the young, non-technical puke in HR has the gall to ask ... "... I don't know if you're right for the job. I mean ... how do I know that you'll stick around once the economy turns around? " (Actual quote)

    I would have to say that anyone who still has the doom and gloom vision, should get over it because their competition is getting ready to eat their lunch.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does this really differ from any other point in the past 20 or 30 years? I don't actually recall any time that I've been in permanent employment that there wasn't an ongoing redundancy programme. You need something to keep all those pointy haired bosses and HR droids occupied, after all.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A lot of UK businesses are closing down

    The truth is the UK is just not a good place to do business, the taxation level is too high, sterling is being kept artificially high, and the skills just aren't there.

    So, businesses are looking for other places to be based in, the knock on effect throughout the economy is quite strong, so it falls down like a set of dominoes.

  8. andreas koch
    Black Helicopters



    the economy is going up, isn't it? The house prices have started to rise again, which is the most important bit, isn't it? Who needs exports and manufacturing and trade, when the house prices are rising? We'll all be rich soon again.

    Oh, wait, I'm renting. Blast that.

    I'll just hope that my company doesn't lay off too many people then.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    as someone in a pretty secure but low paid job I'm always happy to see other people lose their jobs.

    they give you the smug "eeeww I'd never work for your money" attitude then the next week they're carrying their crap home in a box. Serves 'em right really.

    AC obviously

  10. Anonymous Coward

    The more worrying thing is ...

    In ANY recession companies have to put plans in place to attempt to cover whatever they think could come along. Clearly that has to include the number of people you employ. It also includes strategies for keeping everyone employed, such as delaying the VAT return by a month and such things. Companies don't need an excuse to get rid of people that they don't want. If you just consider the cost of inducting people into a company so that they actually become useful and worth their money, then you will see quite a high cost. Companies are loathe to get rid of useful/skilled people because they lose those skills which cost so much to acquire in the first place.

    The article suggests that more than half of UK companies have NO PLANS for trimming their workforce. THAT is the MOST worrying factor shown here and THAT is why British companies are so often poor performers in difficult circumstances. They haven't bothered to make any plans!

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