One in four public sector workers fear they will lose their jobs as the Government’s huge cuts in public spending start to take effect, according to a new study.
Two thirds of those questioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said stress levels in their workplace had increased as a result of the economic downturn.
The survey of over 2,000 employees in private firms as well as the public sector represented a “bleak picture” of employee attitudes throughout the UK, said the CIPD.
Almost a third said their standard of living had fallen over the last six months, although job satisfaction showed a surprise increase, suggesting that workers were displaying a “fixed grin” attitude.
In Birmingham, more than 25,000 non-school council workers have been warned to fear the worst as the city council grapples with managing a reduction in funding of £300million - a third of its total expenditure.
Ben Willmott, the CIPD’s senior public policy adviser, said: “The findings echo what happened during early spring 2009 against the backdrop of recession, when job satisfaction rose before falling as economic and employment conditions improved.
“Both then and now there was talk of job losses and bleak economic commentary, suggesting that, when faced with an uncertain outlook, employees place more value on simply having a job than they do during more benign economic times.
“They are also less likely to look enviously over the fence and think the grass may be greener with another employer, which is not surprising given that two thirds of employees think it would be difficult to get a new job if they lost their current position.”
One in five workers said their organisation was planning redundancies, rising to 50 per cent among public sector staff.