Opinion
May 7, 2012

A manager’s guide to job reductions

Quote of the week

“There has been a massive growth in the government over the past five years. There will have to be job impacts.”

– Kevin Page

Editor’s Corner

The federal Parliamentary Budget Officer has stated what everyone in Ottawa knows: there will be staff cuts in the federal public service. The latest rumour has the number as high as 80,000.

MSNBC reports that in America over the past five years the federal government has laid off more workers than any other organization in that country at 112,800, mostly at the US Postal Service and in the defence sector. This amounts to about 4% of the total public service workforce.

Perhaps in anticipation of more to come, the US Office of Personnel Management has set up a portal to provide guidance to agencies and their employees who are facing further job reductions. 

For employers in the federal government, the site reminds organizations in the federal public service of their obligations under Reduction in Force (RIF) regulations when it comes to layoffs.

The site’s Employee Resources section is more substantial, offering information on topics such as career transition, voluntary early retirement, and benefits. There are links to further resources.

The site has guides for managers that provide assistance on transitioning the organization. There is also a section for veterans that links to VetGuide, which provides specific information for veterans facing downsizing.

The site is effective in its simplicity, not pretending to solve every problem but providing helpful information to help organizations and individuals.

This is an idea that the government of Canada should consider. The Chief Human Resources Officer could create a portal that provides tips to government managers and individuals on how to manage the Deficit Reduction Action Plan fallout that will be announced in Budget 2012.

It could provide tips for managers on their obligations, such as dealing with workforce adjustment, and advice for employees on their rights and options.

The RIF site can be found at http://www.opm.gov/Reduction_In_Force/.

 

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