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Part-time, part-pay: how firms are cutting workers’ hours

A quarter of manufacturers have cut working hours during the recession and many more are considering following suit, according to research from the EEF, the industry body for engineering and manufacturing employers.

Accountants, lawyers and train operators are joining the trend as tens of thousands of employees agree to reduced working hours – and pay – in the hope of avoiding redundancy. The growing number of deals is raising fears that low-paid workers will struggle to make ends meet.

Lee Hopley, head of economic policy at EEF, said that short-time working was a temporary measure that firms would only keep in place for between three and six months. If orders had not improved by then, they would probably start laying off staff, she admitted.

A survey commissioned by the CBI reveals that a third of firms are also scrapping overtime for staff, meaning that take-home pay can fall dramatically.

Service companies and non-industrial companies were also reducing staff hours, said the CBI’s deputy director general, John Cridland, by reducing shifts, albeit in a more informal way.

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This article was originally posted on Guardian

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