A BBC Freedom of Information Request has revealed that over 300,000 redundancies were planned by businesses in June and July of this year, and these are only the ones that they were aware of. Despite government interventions such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Business Support Grant Funds, these (known) figures are over six times higher than figures reported in June and July of 2019.
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A number of large, high street brands including John Lewis, Clarks, Boots and Marks & Spencer have already announced substantial job cuts, and others such as TM Lewin, Bensons for Beds and Monsoon have gone into administration, putting further jobs at risk. According to research by CIPD and Adecco, 38% of private companies planned to make redundancies between July and September.
With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme coming to an end in October 2020, these figures give rise to significant fears that redundancies may continue to increase in the coming months. The Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated that unemployment could reach 4 million in 2021 in a worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, as we have learned in the past, widespread redundancies such as this lead to other redundancies elsewhere in the economy.
If your business is planning to make redundancies in the coming months, we would encourage you to seek legal advice as there are a number of risks involved, which could leave your business exposed to claims and can, with focused advice, be avoided, or at least reduced.
For more information please contact Nick on firstname.lastname@example.org or another a member of the BPE Employment team.
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.