Public sector firms face 'balancing act'A senior figure from the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) has claimed that public sector bodies are likely to encounter some difficulty in retaining talented staff while making others redundant.

IES HR research and consultancy director Peter Reilly suggested that laying off large sections of the workforce and hanging on to skilled individuals could incur the wrath of trade unions and some members of staff.

"You have to acknowledge the fact that people who are turned down for voluntary severance may not be best chuffed," he said. "It's much easier to enforce redundancy, but in the real world you may not get away with that."

Mr Reilly added that public sector bosses may be left with no choice but to insist that certain skills are excluded from the voluntary redundancy process and reserve the right to refuse severance.

Managers concerned about the impact of government spending cuts could benefit from attending the HR in the Public Sector 2010 at the Thistle City Barbican Hotel in London next month.

Posted by Hayley Edwards