Introduction – UK

The austerity budget being pursued by the UK government has led to an intensification of restructuring in public services with very substantial workforce reduction and fragmentation. Government policy with its emphasis on deregulation of the labour market means that restructuring is managed with a largely voluntarist framework. This has meant that restructuring outside the public sector has reflected the nature of the firm, with some larger firms with high value human capital and some multinationals adopting innovative approaches, but most firms dealing with restructuring on an ad hoc basis with little planning. In the public sector restructuring has been driven by budgetary constraints and centrally driven fragmentation with little scope for planning and innovation. As HIRES Public shows much of the social dialogue around public sector restructuring lacks any meaningful social dialogue or attempt to address health issues.