A new guide has been launched by the CIPD in conjunction with Acas that aims to offer companies help in how to manage its employees during the economic downturn.

The guide, Managing in Recession, has been produced in response to an increase in calls to both Acas and CIPD’s helpline relating to redundancies.

Acas chief executive, John Taylor suggested that it is important for companies and no doubt HR departments to motivate its workforce. He advised employers not to be too quick to make redundancies as companies could struggle when the economy picks up.

Mr Taylor said: "The challenge facing all employers is to engage the workforce for the challenges of today and prepare the organisation for the opportunities tomorrow brings."

He explained that those companies which look after their employees now will reap the rewards of "a more committed workforce" in the future.

The guide has suggested that improving workplace morale is especially important when increased workloads can put employees under pressure.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed that redundancies had increased by two thirds in the three months leading up to December 2008.