Workforce Tuning

Futureproof your workforce

Concurrent economic, social and environmental challenges cause major shifts in business and society. Building a resilient organisation, business leaders redefine their strategy, transforming and modernising operations, the work(place) and staff.

A catalogue of legal tools is at your disposal to control or mitigate the impact, such as salary reductions, reduction of working time, temporary unemployment, individual dismissals and many more.

Via our technology enabled methodology, we help you to select and apply the most efficient tools and measures in a legally compliant manner: 

  • Digitalisation – Technology resulting in a loss of positions, with a need to transfer impacted employees to other functions or make them redundant;
  • Portfolio management – Sale and/or outsourcing of non-core activities with a transfer of employees;
  • Liquidity/Profitability – Realise (recurrent) cash savings related to the personnel cost and balance this with employee engagement;
  • Agility – Diversify the workforce by not only having personnel on the payroll but also working with freelancers and build in eco-systems and online platform collaboration;
  • Underperforming business – Bridge a short-term situation with temporary unemployment, up to resizing the workforce via (collective) dismissals.         

Companies faced with one or more of these challenges have a catalogue of legal tools at their disposal to make it work:

We work with our clients via a technology enabled methodology to select and apply the most efficient tools:

  • Explore – Kick-off meeting and quick scan to understand the specific context, needs and guiding principles
  • Prepare – Feasibility study, financial projections, followed by a workshop to agree on most appropriate tuning
  • Activate – Apply the selected tuning measures in legally compliant manner

Our Workforce Tuning offering considers company specifics and legal constraints:

  • The COVID-19 temporary unemployment regime is highly flexible and effective to provide short-term solutions, yet limited in time, and the regular schemes imply strict conditions and formalities;
  • A reduction of FTE’s does not necessarily require dismissals as it can also be achieved by way of working time reduction, time credit, landing positions and other tools;
  • Personnel cost reduction can be achieved through a (unilateral) redesign of remuneration policy or (agreed) salary reduction;
  • By outsourcing non-core activities, it is possible to transfer personnel and reduce headcount without a social plan;
  • Multiple dismissals may qualify as a collective dismissal if thresholds are met, requiring dismissal planning and threshold management;
  • Alignment with/the agreement of employee(s) (representatives) required for different measures. To be considered in view of feasibility and timing constraints.


Covid-19 has been a major incentive for change. Workforce Tuning guides you through the maze of legal tools to help you redesign  your organisation, both on the short and long term.

Building a resilient organisation, business leaders redefine their strategy, transforming and modernising operations, the work(place) and staff

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Stijn Demeestere

Stijn Demeestere


Stijn Demeestere joined Deloitte’s Global Employee Services in 2013 before becoming head of Deloitte Legal - Lawyers’ Employment, Pensions and Benefits team in 2015. In 2020 he took on the additional ... More