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COVID-19: A perspective on the new pressures HR teams are facing

COVID-19: A perspective on new pressures on HR teams

Donna Sharp discusses the changes HR teams need to make to support their businesses and people in a new reality.

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Director, KPMG Law

KPMG in the UK


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“Success will be about finding flexible solutions that meet business needs and support employee wellbeing.” 

In light of COVID-19, HR teams are now under increased pressure to support their businesses in preserving cash and adapting to new patterns of customer demand. Importantly, they need to balance this with putting their people at the heart of their decision making. To manage this effectively, HR teams need to have a robust understanding of their organisations’ current situation and future needs.  

In our new reality video, Donna Sharp, Director and Solicitor, Employment Legal Services, considers the options HR teams have for supporting their organisation with the unprecedented challenges they’ll need to facing in the new reality.

  • Adjust resources to protect cash: “A soft touch approach is asking employees to take leave now; or encouraging them to take a sabbatical, possibly on reduced pay to make the option more appealing.” 
  • Redeploy staff: “An example of this is from the office to distribution centres. And some are looking at short-term working measures.” 
  • Manage the return of furlough staff: “You’ll need to think through which groups of staff you need back as a priority, as well as policies on travel, attendance and health and safety.” 

As we move to a new reality, the future for HR teams will be busy and challenging with unprecedented decision making required. However, identifying flexible solutions that align with business needs and support employee wellbeing will be crucial for success. 

© 2020 KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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