UK firms shell out record £5bn on redundancy

Elizabeth Fournier
UK FIRMS paid out a record £4.9bn in redundancy payments in the year to 31 March 2012, a nine per cent rise on the previous 12 months as public sector job cuts offset a fall in private sector layoffs.

According to new research by commercial law firm EMW, since the beginning of the recession in September 2008 UK employers have shelled out a total of £18.4bn in redundancy payments, with last year’s figure up by almost half a million pounds from the £4.5bn recorded in 2010-11.

“The recent rise in redundancy payouts has been driven in particular by increasing numbers of redundancies in the public sector,”said Louise Holder, principal at EMW. “The strong unionisation of the public sector also means public sector redundancy payouts tend to be higher than those available in equivalent private sector jobs.”

In 2011-12, 410,000 redundancy payments were made by UK employers, with an average settlement of £11,951 – or around six months’ pay for workers on the median UK salary of £26,200.