COVID-19 | UK locations hit hardest by redundancy fears

UK locations hit hardest by redundancy fears

Over the last few months, redundancy news has hit headlines almost on a daily basis.

Many organisations, large and small, have sadly shed staff numbers due to the economic impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on business.

The National Trust, Cineworld, TSB and Greggs are just some examples of organisations that have made staff redundant, according to Business Live.

August research from the CIPD found that as many as one in three UK firms plan to slash jobs by October as the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) winds down.

As a result, some employees will likely be concerned about the future of their role.

UK cities with the biggest concerns about redundancy

With the winding down of the CJRS scheme, new research released by the employment law firm KLG Law has shed light on the UK cities with the biggest redundancy concerns in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law firm’s study analysed recent Google search data to find out where in the UK staff members were feeling most concerned about redundancy and job security based on queries, questions and searches.

According to the data, Stoke-on-Trent, Edinburgh and Cardiff were identified as the top three cities that were most concerned about redundancy with a search volume score of 100. Search volume is measured on a scale of one to 100.

In addition, Leeds (search volume 98), Bristol (search volume 98) and Sheffield (search volume 94) were also identified as areas in the UK with heightened redundancy fears.

London (search volume 92), Birmingham (search volume 85), Manchester (search volume 83) and Liverpool (search volume 71) also made the ranking which identified cities with redundancy-related fears.

Anita Kalra, Managing Director of KLG Law pointed towards data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which suggested that the number of UK redundancies had increased by 27,000 in the quarter.

“This is huge; many industries are suffering in ways not experienced since 2008. It’s important to remember that not everyone knows what to do when they are made redundant, it can be extremely overwhelming,” Kalra added.

“Some employers unfortunately lack the relevant support and resources to help their employees through this difficult and uncertain time and naturally employees turn to Google for support to answer their concerns,” she continued.

Which terms have workers been searching for?

The data also looked into the biggest concerns and key terms that workers have been searching for during this time.

This included furlough, furlough redundancy, coronavirus redundancy, redundancy on furlough and redundancy during furlough.

Elsewhere, the law firm’s study revealed that Google searches for the term ‘redundancy’ reached peak levels across the entirety of the UK on July 30, 2020.

It was on this day that the UK Government announced a new law to ensure that furloughed staff members received statutory redundancy based on their normal wages, rather than at a reduced furlough rate.

At the time, Business Secretary Alok Sharma urged employers to do everything possible to avoid making redundancies.

However, Sharma said that where it is unavoidable it is crucial that staff “receive the payments they are rightly entitled to”.

“New laws coming into force [on July 30, 2020] will ensure furloughed workers are not short-changed if they are ever made redundant – providing some reassurance for workers and their families during this challenging time,” he added.

Kalra explained that redundancy has unfortunately become a “harsh possibility” for UK workers, however, the legal expert did say that support is available.

“It’s important to remember – whether it’s you, a friend, colleague or family member – no one is alone or unique in this situation,” Kalra concluded.


HR Grapevine brought together HR leaders and technology experts for a virtual event that explored the new opportunities created by technology – learning how to embrace them at every level, from strategic planning to day-to-day best practice. Catch up on what was covered at HR Grapevine VIRTUAL: HR Tech 2.0 and discover innovative approaches for integrating technology and empowering the people function.

Watch On-Demand


Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for the next 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.