Wednesday, 14 October 2020

FIFTH of UK bosses expect to axe up to 10% of workers by end of year


A fifth of business bosses in the UK believe they will need to axe up to 10 per cent of their workforce by the end of the year, amid fears hundreds of thousands more people are set to become victims of the coronavirus jobs bloodbath, a new survey has revealed.

Bosses of large (more than 250 employees) and medium (50-249 staff) sized firms, businesses in the hospitality sector and those in Scotland and Wales were most likely to make the biggest cuts, with some warning they could axe up to 60 per cent of their workforce, the YouGov figures reveal.

The data shows bosses at more than 10 per cent of British hospitality and leisure businesses plan to make cuts cuts of more than 50 per cent of their workforce by Christmas. The next closest sector is the real estate sector (eight per cent), followed by retail (six per cent) and transport and distribution firms (six per cent).

 But while pub, restaurant and retail employees have already taken the brunt of the damage in terms of jobs losses, with businesses having endured months of lost trade during lockdown, and having struggled to revive with the government's support grants and Eat Out to Help Out schemes, it now appears white collar jobs could also be at risk.

The data reveals nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of education-based businesses could make cuts of between 20 and 29 per cent of their workforce by the New Year, while a third of bosses at legal firms across the UK believe they will have to cut up to 10 per cent of their staff.

Almost a quarter of bosses involved in white collar industries such as media and marketing, medical and health services and finance and accounting also believe they will have to make 10 per cent cuts to their workforce by the end of 2020, the survey results show. 

But the outlook was better for microbusinesses (between one and ten employees), where 70 per cent said they did not plan cuts, while the retail industry, hit by months of loss of trade during lockdown, also had the most company chiefs say that they would not be axing jobs.

It comes as figures yesterday revealed how hundreds of thousands of people had already lost their jobs following the coronavirus outbreak, with the number of UK redundancies now rising at its fastest rate since the 2008 financial crisis, as unemployment surged to 1.5million.

In another day of news dominated by the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Tories and Cabinet 'hawks' hit back at SAGE demands for national 'circuit breaker' lockdown as scientists brand PM's local Tiers plan 'worst of all worlds' and warn 107,000 lives could be lost - amid claims Boris is 80% certain to order move at half-term;
  • Manchester and Lancashire could be forced into strictest Tier 3 lockdown by No.10 after meeting today as mayor Andy Burnham blasts government for 'piling on the pressure without negotiating';
  • The head of Oxford vaccine team warns facemasks and social distancing will be needed until next summer;
  • Liverpool revellers enjoy their final night in the pub before the city is put into 'high alert' and venues shut for weeks;
  • Boris Johnson joked 'Rule of Six' would be an excuse to 'not see the in-laws at Christmas' in gag that fell flat during Zoom call to Tory backbenchers;
  • Academics claim a two-week 'circuit-breaker' lockdown linked to half-term could save 'between 3,000 and 107,000 lives' by New Year after Keir Starmer demanded Boris Johnson take immediate nationwide action as deaths doubled in a week to 143;
  • Pubs are closed across Europe as coronavirus cases on the continent reach their highest weekly levels since the start of the pandemic 

The survey figures, which come from a late September YouGov poll of 1,108 key decision makers at GB businesses, show 21 per cent believe they will have to axe around 10 per cent of their workforce ahead of the New Year.


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