Following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review it has been predicted that there will be at least 330,000 public sector job losses by 2014/15, as well as up to 500,000 jobs affected in private sector businesses that depend on Government contracts. Many are concerned about the impact these may have on the private sector in 2011 and beyond.
Trade unions have called for "coordinated action" in response to the cuts, which could cause obvious difficulties for employers. Industrial disputes may also arise out of changes to terms, particularly pensions, in the public sector. In a recent survey carried out with private companies, many anticipate increased strikes by public sector workers which they are concerned will damage their business.
Employment lawyers also expect to see continued equal pay litigation in the public sector in 2011. Given that the Chartered Management Institute estimates that women will not achieve pay parity with men until 2067, this may continue for some time.
The new provisions under the Equality Act 2010 making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable may amplify this issue.