Encouraging signs came from the Office for National Statistics yesterday as West Midlands unemployment numbers fell from 285,000 last month to 282,0000. This improvement was in contrast to the national picture where those out of work rose by 40,000 across the country as a whole.
Commenting on the figures employment lawyer Eileen Schofield said ‘it is definitely good news for the region, however 10.5% of the workforce is still without jobs, the highest percentage in the country’.
‘The manufacturing sector has been particularly badly affected, which is still the mainstay of this part of the world’ she added.
‘Whilst companies are looking to make cost savings, it is imperative that employers consider a range of option open to them before losing members of staff on a permanent basis’.
‘The cost of losing inherent knowledge can sometimes be more than savings made in wages and salaries, and the expense of recruiting and training new staff when business picks up will be a significant future cost to the business’.
‘It is not only a legal requirement that employers consult with their workforce before a final decision is made but is also the most effective way of avoiding a loss of trained and experienced employees’.
‘Staff may consider taking unpaid leave, accept a shorter working week, or even a pay reduction, if it means saving their jobs and it will make it much easier to bounce back when the recession finally ends’ she concluded.