Learning from the downturn - An employer perspective

Chubb C, Reilly P | HR Network Paper MP86 | Institute for Employment Studies | Mar 2010

There has been much debate on what has been seen as the surprising resilience of the UK labour market in the most recent recession, and this paper looks at some of the aggregate trends and possible explanations for them, including the role of public policy.

We look in detail at the kinds of initiatives that HR functions took to reduce redundancy and protect skills during the economic downturn.

The aims of the research were: to see whether organisations were responding to economic problems differently than in the past; and if so, to consider why they were adopting these strategies; to assess how well the strategies had worked; and to consider whether such initiatives might have longer term beneficial impacts, not just on the bottom line but on factors such as employee engagement and workforce flexibility.