Strategic redundancy

There is a longer term, more strategic way to deal with redundancy.  In this world of accelerating changes to business processes, communications media, product and customer base, the structure of an organisation is an inherently unstable thing.  The days are gone when we can produce a long term plan for the workforce with any degree of confidence that we know who and what we will need.

We need to:

  • contract people to wider and more flexible roles (without weighing them down with impossible job descriptions and workloads)
  • arrive at a point when all jobs evolve and flex (both in the interests of the employee AND the organisation

 The key skills for the workforce of the future will be the ability to learn.  We cannot ‘buy’ labour with ready made skills and knowledge that will last through a long term career. 

Yet we still try to fit new recruits and processes into organisational structures that are not really able to contain their potentials and achievements, nor reflect clearly the demands that may be made on them.

For example

  • Accountant work with Sales when potential large clients want financial data, and the skill requirements  between the two groups begin to merge
  • TUPE projects often need multi-disciplinary approaches from HR, Sales, Finance and Business Development.

If our focus were on recruiting individuals who were able to learn new skills and investing in them as they did their work – then when the needs of the business changed a higher proportion of individuals would be able to change with it.

We could also use flexible working and worklife balance to give us a longer term pool of skilled workers who are ready to work longer hours at a later date when their circumstances change.

We could then find ourselves with fewer mass redundancies and fewer skill shortages.   Is that really impossible to organise?

Click these links for other blogs on redundancy :

and link to this web page on Irenicon –

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.   Tel: 08452 303050  Fax: 08452 303060  Website :  You can follow Annabel on twitter – and check our regular articles and news throughout the autumn on our blog site –


Filed under employment law, redundancy

4 responses to “Strategic redundancy

  1. Pingback: Redundancy on the move | Employment law in a mad world

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