Ma­jor firms shed­ding thou­sands of work­ers

Western Daily Press - - Uk&world News - AU­GUST GRA­HAM Press As­so­ci­a­tion

AT least 150,000 jobs have been cut or put at risk at more than 60 ma­jor Bri­tish em­ploy­ers dur­ing lock­down, a list com­piled by the PA news agency has re­vealed.

The pace of re­dun­dan­cies has picked up in re­cent weeks as com­pa­nies try to fig­ure out if they can af­ford to take back fur­loughed staff.

Yes­ter­day, Boots re­vealed it was plan­ning to part ways with thou­sands of col­leagues.

The high street phar­macy chain has said it ex­pects to cut more than 4,000 jobs as part of ac­tion to mit­i­gate the “sig­nif­i­cant im­pact” of Covid-19.

The move will af­fect around 7% of the com­pany’s work­force. The re­struc­tur­ing will also re­sult in the clo­sure of 48 Boots Op­ti­cians stores.

It comes af­ter re­tail sales tum­bled by 48% over the past three months in the face of the pan­demic, de­spite Boots keep­ing swathes of its stores open to cus­tomers.

Boots said that the cuts rep­re­sent an “ac­cel­er­a­tion” of its trans­for­ma­tion plans to im­prove prof­itably across the busi­ness. The re­tailer said it has in­vested in Boots.com dur­ing the lock­down as more cus­tomers moved on­line, with the com­pany re­port­ing a 78% in­crease in on­line sales over the quar­ter.

Se­bas­tian James, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Boots UK, said: “In do­ing this, we are build­ing a stronger and more mod­ern Boots for our cus­tomers, pa­tients and col­leagues.

“We recog­nise that to­day’s pro­pos­als will be very dif­fi­cult for the re­mark­able peo­ple who make up the heart of our busi­ness, and we will do ev­ery­thing in our power to pro­vide the fullest sup­port dur­ing this time.”

Burger King UK’s boss has warned that up to 1,600 jobs could be lost as a re­sult of the coron­avirus pan­demic. Only about 370 of the res­tau­rant chain’s 530 UK stores have re­opened since the na­tion went into lock­down.

The PA data shows that nearly 17,000 po­ten­tial job losses have been an­nounced so far this month, com­pared to just over 14,000 at the same point in June. Over­all around 75,000 job losses were an­nounced last month.

Al­though many jobs will have been lost as a di­rect re­sult of the eco­nomic squeeze forced by the Covid19 lock­down, thou­sands of em­ploy­ees were al­ready fac­ing job un­cer­tainty re­gard­less of the pan­demic.

HSBC and Vir­gin Money both paused their pre-Covid re­dun­dancy plans when the pan­demic be­gan and later re­sumed the process.

The Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics has sug­gested that 600,000 UK work­ers lost their job in May alone, while va­can­cies slumped to a record low. Mean­while, the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD) warned this week that the UK’s un­em­ploy­ment rate could hit as high as 14.8%.

Ex­perts also worry that much worse could be ahead as the fur­lough scheme is wound down from Au­gust be­fore it ends in Oc­to­ber.

Rolls-Royce con­firmed yes­ter­day that 3,000 of its UK work­force have ap­plied for vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy as part of a pre­vi­ously an­nounced plan to cut 9,000 jobs.

On Wed­nes­day, Chan­cel­lor Rishi Su­nak an­nounced a new jobs re­ten­tion plan to pay a £1,000 bonus to com­pa­nies who bring back staff from fur­lough.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.