The Touch Choices survey was distributed in mid September and received an excellent response from 853 employees and 608 employers from all over Ireland and a wide range of industries and sectors.
The most telling response from the survey was that was 70 per cent of companies in Ireland have changed their employees’ pay and conditions or are planning to do so, in light of the recession.
Interestingly, there is broad agreement from both sides on less contentious issues, like cutting bonuses, benefits and even pension contributions as methods of reducing costs and that that lower level staff should not be unduly targeted for either pay or job cuts.
However, there is a real divide on where pay and job cuts should occur. Unsurprisingly, most employees favour the targeting of higher earners only, with employers favouring across the board reductions.
They differ widely in relation to targeting pay. Employers cite pay cuts as the second best option out of seven for reducing staff costs, while this is the second least favoured option out of seven for employees.
In relation to compulsory redundancies, the groups are again divided with 70 per cent of employees against this method of saving staff costs compared to only 48 per cent of employers being against it.
The research also shows that the option of voluntary redundancies may be ineffective in cutting staff costs. While 87 per cent of employees believed that offering voluntary redundancies is the best option open to management when attempting to save costs, two-thirds of employees say they would not take voluntary redundancy if offered it.