Vodafone’s announcement of 400 job losses at its Oxfordshire operation is just the tip of the iceberg for the Technology sector. That is the stark warning from Leon Deakin, an associate in Thomas Eggar LLP’s Technology Group.
He said the news was likely to be followed by similar moves from other large private employees both in this market segment and elsewhere. “When the recession originally hit, many larger employers were completely unprepared and panic cost cutting measures such as rapid redundancies and wage reductions followed, bringing with it severe employee relation problems and a flood of claims,” he commented.
The spending review and cuts in the public sector by the coalition government has not helped an already testing economic time, added Deakin. “Inevitability companies like Vodafone seem to have learnt from last time and are obviously ‘trimming the fat’ in preparation for any tough times ahead.”
His advice to avoiding longer term pain is to make effective business-saving decisions at the earliest opportunity. “Whilst it is never nice to have to consider job cuts (and may actually appear a strange decision when Vodafone’s profits have recently risen for the first time since the recession hit), reviewing the business early and in a calm fashion provides an opportunity to manage any necessary changes better and will leave the business best prepared to weather the storm.”
Taking swift action might even result in some welcome options he explained: “It could allow suitable time to consider any alternative proposals which may be put forward or otherwise come to light as part of any necessary redundancy consultation.”
Vodafone said the cuts were part of its initiative to create centres of excellence with 200 jobs moving to sites at Newark in Nottinghamshire, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire and Didsbury, Manchester.