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A year on from the comprehensive spending review and the worst effects are still to come

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On the anniversary of the Comprehensive Spending Review, the future for many public sector employees is still uncertain, according to recruitment consultancy Badenoch & Clark.

 

In a sign that the worst effects of the spending cuts are still to come, a third (32%) of public sector workers have not yet seen tangible effects of reduced budgets. In departments where cuts have begun to bite, however, morale is the biggest casualty, according to the regular quarterly survey of 1,000 public sector workers.

Almost two fifths (38%) claim morale has noticeably dropped following job losses and keeping morale up has been the biggest challenge for half (51%) of all public workers over the past 12 months. Around half of workers in central government and London report the greatest impact, with 58% and 45% respectively claiming morale has declined noticeably.

A quarter of all public workers (26%) have witnessed significant job losses in their departments. That figure rises to two fifths (40%) for central government workers. And just over a third (35%) of all public sector workers believe their department has been left under resourced.

Nicola Linkleter, MD at Badenoch & Clark said: "Last October's Comprehensive Spending Review created a lot of uncertainty for employees in the public sector and our research today suggests that this sense of insecurity persists. We still haven't seen the full extent of the headline spending cuts ripple out into the public sector workforce.

"As a consequence, many employees are left feeling insecure about their future and in turn the research shows that morale and productivity are suffering. Likewise, where the effects of the cuts have been felt and job losses have been made, morale still remains the greatest casualty.

"In such times of flux, it is important that organisations do not become complacent and continue to work on reasserting the public sector brand, communicating change down to all levels. Fallout from decisions made since last October's announcement is likely to last for many more months to come and it is important that employees perceive their employer as committed to its workforce."

More than a third (35.1%) of public workers believe there will be further job losses; nearly two fifths (39.8%) believe there will be fewer opportunities for promotion; and just under a third (28.6%) believe pay and benefits will be reduced.

Added to which, as 30 November looms, the date pinpointed for strikes over pension reform, a third (34%) of all public sector workers still believe pensions are worth striking over - a sentiment felt most acutely by central government workers with just over a half (51%) claiming it is something they would strike over.