Updated over every
Tuesday night... Published online on Wednesday.
29 July 2009
Small businesses concern about unemployment continues
THE Federation of Small
Businesses (FSB) saw a dramatic rise in calls to its legal advice
line on lay-offs and redundancies in the first two quarters of this
The FSB’s legal advice line saw an extraordinary 155% rise in calls
on redundancies and a substantial 656% rise on lay-offs from January
to June this year compared to 2008 as small businesses cut back
costs and sought advice on employment issues.
During the first 3 months of the year, the FSB saw a dramatic
increase of inquiries in lay-offs by a massive 1180% and
redundancies by 93%. But as the rate of decline in the economy
slowed down during quarter 2, there were a comparatively small
number of inquiries to the legal advice line - lay-offs increased by
30% and redundancies 88%.
A lay-off is a temporary measure such as short-time work, where as
redundancy is a permanent dismissal of the member of staff.
At the same time, calls to the legal advice line about recruitment
nearly doubled (48%) as some small businesses fought the downturn
and were looking to expand.
The FSB is calling for small and medium sized businesses – which
employ over half the private sector workforce – to be given the
support they need to tackle the downturn. The FSB is proposing three
solutions to help small firms not only keep people in jobs, but help
create new ones, including:-
* A government funded wage subsidy for employers and employees who
have their work hours shortened;
* A moratorium on legislation - delaying
all new employment and business legislation during the recession;
payroll taxes including increasing National Insurance contributions
and cutting employer’s contributions.
FSB Merseyside, West Cheshire & Wigan Regional Chairman Norman Lay
said:- “Small businesses are the engine room of the economy
and are in a key position to help generate new jobs. The FSB is
calling on the Government to ensure small firms have the tools they
need to get through the recession and retain and create jobs.”
HALL HOSTS FOOTBALL HISTORY KICK ABOUT
IT’S Red versus Blue as two of
Liverpool’s most distinguished historians kick off a trip down
football memory lane!
The magnificent setting of St George’s Hall Concert Room on Lime
Street in the city centre will provide the setting for a
light-hearted derby debate on Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7pm.
It will focus on the achievements and traditions of both clubs, and
seek to unearth little known facts and hidden gems of their past.
Community Historian Steve Binns MBE will be aiming to score for the
Blue half of the city and famed local historian Frank Carlyle will
be tackling the Reds.
Fans are being urged to go along, contribute and cheer on their
favourite side to victory!
Radio Merseyside presenter Alan Jackson will be refereeing the
Tickets cost £4.95 and are available from St George’s Hall Heritage
Centre, or by calling:- 0151 225 6909.
Wage freezes are not the only story for pay
THERE are good pay deals still being done, including in the
private sector, according to data from the Labour Research
Department (LRD) Payline database.
Pay freezes are not the only way employers have responded to the
economic downturn. In fact, according to Payline, only around 23% of
wage settlements since January 2009 have been pay freezes. This
means that the greater majority of wage settlements, including in
the private sector, have been positive. In only a tiny handful of
cases have there been actual pay cuts.
However, LRD’s information shows the level of pay increases has
dropped since 2008, to an overall median of 2.5% from January to
June this year, while the range of pay settlements has widened, with
deals in the private sector ranging from 0% to 6% or even more.
LRD’s figures are also revealing another apparent trend in pay for
2009 in the growing difference between long-term and short-term
negotiated pay deals. The median since January 2009 for long-term
deals is 3.2% compared to the median for new deals, which is 2%.
Settlements that are negotiated for one year (or sometimes less)
with unions have also been disproportionately affected by pay
freezes. Currently around 35-40% of these new deals are running at
This is in stark contrast to long-term and staged deals, often – but
not always – built on a formula linked to one or other of the
official measures of inflation. These deals are in almost all cases
still delivering pay rises, mostly in the range 0.5%-5%. And, while
in some very rare cases employers have reneged on these deals, for
the most part pay promises made before the downturn have been
“It is likely that employers that sign long-term deals with their
unions favour stability and good industrial relations, and know that
over time the pay picture will probably even out under these deals.
Freezing pay is a short-term solution, and is not sustainable in the
long term. Many employers even in a downturn see the benefits of a
more predictable situation where they can be sure of rewarding their
staff consistently.” said Lewis Emery, LRD’s pay and
The three-monthly median pay increase up to and including June 2009
was 2.3% for all deals. This is a drop from the three-month figure
to May, which was 2.5%. See table below for further comparisons.
three-monthly and monthly pay medians, showing all deals and new
deals only. Figures from December 2008 to May 2009.
Monthly Medians (All
Monthly Medians (New
Sign up to
our Daily Email News Service BETA Test by clicking
that are taking place this