Businesses need to cope with the fact that difficult economic times bring out the best and the worst in many people - including their employees according to Nick Poole, partner at Latimer Hinks Solicitors.
A recent survey by IT security company Cyber-Ark found a Jekyll and Hyde approach to employee relations is emerging as a direct result of job insecurity.
On the one hand, more than a third of the 600 employees questioned said they would work up to 80 hours a week, and 25% would take a salary cut if it meant they could secure their jobs.
However, 71% admitted that if they lost their jobs they would take competitive company data with them to use as a negotiating tool to secure their next post.
Nick Poole said: Both extremes indicate an unhealthy climate of fear in many workplaces, which can be at least partially resolved by trying to create an open culture where people know where they stand.
For example, there is little benefit in having employees who are shattered through working excessive hours, or are bitter because they feel poorly rewarded. Equally, you dont want people on your workforce who you cannot trust with confidential information.
Much can be achieved, though, by ensuring that you have the right employment practices in place, and particularly that your contracts of employment are clear and fair.
We would be delighted to talk to any employer who wants to make sure that they have the right legal structures in their business.