According to the 2002 Layoff Trends survey by World at Work, only 16% of responding firms are trimming workplace perks, such as club memberships and expense accounts, about the same as a year ago. In addition, only about 4% of companies have conducted pay cuts and just an additional 5% are even considering taking that step.
Still, more than half of the responding organizations have experienced layoffs in the past 12 months, and almost one-third (29.5%) anticipate layoffs in the next six months. However, the survey’s authors note that what is perhaps more significant is who is getting laid off – increasingly technical staff in areas such as information technology (IT) and research and development (R&D).
Employers are continuing to consider a variety of cost-cutting alternatives, including:
- 64% – Implementing hiring freezes
- 58% – Reducing/suspending annual pay increases
- 46% – Reducing/suspending bonuses
- 28% – Granting voluntary severance
- 26% – Granting early retirement
- 26% – Job Sharing
- 25% – Changing regular employees to contract status
The vast majority of respondents (95%) communicate layoffs via face-to-face meetings with workers, while 73% did so in small group meetings at the departmental level.
Companies for the most part are also providing employees with time to prepare for the change, with over half (53%) providing up to two weeks’ notice and 44% providing more time.
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