Jobs morale is high

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MOST firms describe employee relations as “co-operative” and many believe morale is high despite the state of the economy, new research has shown.

A survey of more than 300 businesses, employing almost two million workers, revealed that only 5% said employee relations were adversarial.

Virtually all those polled by the CBI were confident their staff recognised the need to contain costs.

Almost a third of employers said they planned to create jobs in the next six months, while around half were planning a below-inflation pay rise.

Katja Hall, the CBI’s chief policy director, said: “In the UK we have a good story to tell about collaboration in the workplace during the worst of the economic crisis. By working pragmatically and flexibly together, employers and employees have been able to safeguard and create jobs.

“With two-thirds of businesses reporting high levels of co-operation in their workplace, employers clearly understand the value of engaging their employees and keeping them informed about business challenges being faced.

“The interests of employees, employers and the economy as a whole will continue to be best served by maintaining these positive employment relationships.”

Albert Ellis, chief executive of recruitment firm Harvey Nash, which helped with the study, said: “The fact that two-fifths of companies say that morale among staff is high or very high paints a picture of a positive, can-do atmosphere in the private sector, where businesses and employees are working together to weather economic storm clouds.”

Meanwhile, The UK’s recovery hopes were dealt a further blow today after shock figures showed the economy shrank by a worse-than-expected 0.7% between April and June.

Dire construction and manufacturing output drove the biggest decline in GDP since the height of the financial crisis three years ago.

Wet weather and an extra day’s bank holiday played a significant part in the fall, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).