The threat of future local lockdowns and reduced customer demand could see a third of businesses making redundancies during the next three months.
Data from the latest Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker from the British Chambers of Commerce and the job site Indeed reveals the top two issues stopping businesses from being able to get back to normal are limited customer demand (54%) and the potential for local lockdowns in the future (52%).
While the government’s furlough scheme has been a lifeline for businesses, saving millions of jobs across the UK, it’s feared that as this comes to end there will be a sudden rise in unemployment across the country. Indeed have already seen the number of job listings on its site drop by 60% since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.
From the 751 businesses surveyed, around 13% have already had to make some redundancies since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, 33% admit to planning to make some of their workforce redundant within the next few months. Businesses recently announcing job cuts include:
- LinkedIn: Will be forced to cut around 950 jobs worldwide following a significant drop in firms recruiting.
- Marks & Spencer: Planning to make 950 people redundant.
- Tesco: No longer using contract cleaners in 2,000 of its Express and Metro stores. Staff will take on cleaning responsibilities.
- Ted Baker: Intending to cut 500 jobs, equivalent to a quarter of its UK workforce.
- White Stuff: Already made 390 staff redundant.
A survey from Make UK who represents manufacturing businesses found that 53% of manufacturing firms were planning to make redundancies within the next six months. A third of manufacturers will be forced to make between 11% and 25% of their workforce redundant, while almost 8% predict they will have to cut between a quarter and half of their workforce.
Business leaders are urging the government to take radical steps to help businesses by reducing their employment-related tax burden, boosting the Employment Allowance and increasing the threshold of employers’ National Insurance Contributions.
For more articles and updates visit the HR Solutions’ ‘Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers’ section.
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