Good news for pharma employees

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Pharma redundancies may have fallen this year, but would you take a pay cut to avoid them?

Outplacement company Challenger, Gray and Christmas announced some good news this month. Job cuts in the pharmaceutical industry were significantly lower in the first quarter of this year than in 2010. By last March, 26,165 people had been made redundant from pharma companies, while just 3,385 employees lost their jobsin the first three months of this year – a decrease of 87%.

The figures are based on American companies, but as many pharma companies’ cost-cutting strategies have been global, they give a pretty good indication of the overall situation.

The signs indicate that the pharma industry is recovering, or at least, is taking a break from restructuring, and most members of the sales force can breathe a sigh of relief. The last few years have seen a dire situation for industry employees, with some actually experiencing the redundancy process more than once.

Those days may be over, yet a recent poll on the Pf website has shown that the fear is still very real. When asked whether they would take a pay cut if it meant their company could avoid redundancies, 46% said ‘Maybe’ (dependent upon the situation). However, the next highest number (27%) said that they would accept a reduction in pay rather than risk losing their own jobs – a reaction that perhaps reveals the pain of job cuts, both for those staying and those going, is still fresh in workers’ memories and most would accept any alternative to avoid it.

Of those that opted for not accepting a pay cut, 24% said they could not take this option as they could not afford to, indicating that belts are rather tighter than they have been in the past and many people are feeling or expecting to feel the impact of current austerity measures.

A final, small group of just 3% said they would not accept a pay cut because their jobs are secure. A selfish minority perhaps, but a small enough figure to show that the company restructures of recent years have left very few employees feeling secure.

Do you feel that your job is secure? The Pf Company Perception, Motivation and Satisfaction Survey is closing soon. Click here to have your say about your experiences of working in pharma and for your current employer over the past year. 

Contact the author:

diana.spencer@healthpublishing.co.uk

@HSPDi