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The IoIC joins British businesses in condemning P&O’s abrupt sacking of 800 workers to replace them with cheaper agency labour.


“While redundancies at a struggling firm may be expected, the manner in which employees were told is shocking,” says IoIC President Suzanne Peck.

“Employees – some with many years of service – were sacked via a pre-recorded Zoom call, with immediate effect, with no forewarning or consultation, and no opportunity to ask questions. They were told that security people with handcuffs were ready to escort them from their places of work.

“This disregard for employee relations has wider implications for British business as organisations strive to portray themselves as caring about the interests of employees, not just shareholders.”

Meanwhile, as the legal context to the sackings continue to be debated, the UK’s Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has also said that P&O and its owners DP World have “lost the trust of the public and given business a bad name.”

And this is at a time when the relationship between employer and employee is more important than ever with 61% of respondents in the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer stating that business is the most trusted institution.

“The IoIC believes that people drive the success of organisations, and that it is vital to build trust by communicating with them effectively,” says IoIC CEO Jennifer Sproul.

“Our #WeMatterAtWork movement embodies our purpose and belief that employees deserve to feel that they matter, that they are valued, and are kept informed authentically, truthfully and with respect.

“Although this is undoubtably a set-back for employee relations in the UK and hopefully an isolated case, the IoIC continues to champion the work and high standards of internal communications professionals. And our experience is that professionally-run organisations do understand the value and difference communication makes to building better business and a better society overall.”


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