Exploring Economic and Labour Market Developments and change: Participation, Equality and Disadvantage at the National and Regional Level. Issues and implications for People Management and Policy and Practice
Introduction: In the last 100 years the British labour market has been in many ways a more equal and fairer society it has ever been. For example, 70 years ago women were not allowed to work after they got married and people were openly discriminated on their colour of their skin. Today, it is illegal for employers to discriminate on gender, race or disability with the result that almost 50% of the workforce is female and the participation rate among most ethnic minorities keeps on growing. Despite of these
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Many companies were forced to make immediate decisions like redundancies, recruitment and pay freezes and keeping tight control of their costs like the training and development budgets. (CIPD, 2009). However, as mentioned before, the current economy is based on the service industry wherein people are critical to the business success (Kew and Stredwick, 2010). Therefore almost all companies agree that it is important to find a balance between immediate business-critical needs and with long-term sustainable business needs. In order to reach this balance, organizations found innovative solutions to retain, engage and develop current and future talent of the organization (CIPD, 2009; Cox et al., 2009) . These practices include finding alternatives for redundancies by making more use of flexible working, reducing people’s working hours or offering employees a sabbatical. They also tried to keep their employees engaged by focusing more on career development so people can see that they have a feature with the business. In addition, companies increased their absence and performance management as they need productivity even more to turn the situation around (CIPD, 2009; Cox et al., 2009). Finally, although most companies needed to cut in the training and development, companies have tried to use all the available funding opportunities for skill development.