Friday, 17 August 2012

ACAS recognise the stress of handling redundanies

ACAS have today issued amended guidlines for companies handling redundancies.

They argue that more support should be given to the people who pass on news of redundancies, recognising the vital role they play and the often enormous strain involved in this.

Their refreshed ‘redundancy handling’ guide identifies these people as ‘tellers’, who act as the link between decision-makers in management and staff. 'Tellers' can be line managers, or more often, HR personnel. 

The guide says that selecting close colleagues of staff as ‘tellers’ due to their emotional link to those affected may be more damaging in the long run. In fact, they say, it may be better to choose somebody with ‘emotional distance’ who will feel less personal pain during the process.

“Tellers expect a difficult time from employees at risk,” says the guide. “Yet even so, many still struggle to cope with the range of emotion they face and must confront, sometimes over months, on top of very long hours.

It can be complicated being the link between employees at risk - explaining how the company's plans could affect them and dealing with the emotions involved - and then reporting back to the ... decision makers.”

The duties of being a 'Teller' can last for weeks or even months. It is often a stressful and conflicted time, with high emotions and mountains of information to consider.Employers must take great care to see that the person or people they choose for the job are able, supported and clear on what is involved. 

We welcome ACAS' recognition of the invaluable role of the 'tellers' and look forward to seeing better support for those fulfilling the role within their own organisations.

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