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Last Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007, 10:37 GMT
Bosses 'want annual staff cuts'
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Birds Eye unveiled a factory closure this week to boost competitiveness
More than three quarters of UK bosses think their companies would benefit from an annual quota of staff dismissals, a report has found.

The study said 77% of senior executives think such yearly redundancy targets would boost both their firm's productivity and financial performance.

Yet 75% said they would not bring in such a system as they did not want to introduce "a climate of fear".

The survey by recruitment consultancy Hudson UK spoke to 562 senior managers.

Sometimes the best career direction for an employee is out of the company
Hudson UK boss John Rose

It found that one in six executives thought their company could target up to 20% of its workforce each year for dismissal without damaging productivity and morale.

Less severely, 43% of bosses agreed that dismissing up to 5% of staff each year would be healthy.

'Taboo area'

However, the report also found that only 4% of senior managers currently have a policy of annual staff dismissals, with 22% saying they would rather retain average or below average workers because they fear they would struggle to find better replacements.

"Clearly this is a massive - and to date - relatively taboo area of debate for British business," said Hudson UK chief executive John Rose.

"Businesses need to know how to assess the cultural fit, as well as the technical capability, of a recruit, as well as what training is required.

"Sometimes the best career direction for an employee is out of the company."

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