MORE than a quarter of businesses have made redundancies during the pandemic according to the latest employment report from Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.
It also found that many firms have been reliant economic support from government to survive the downturn with 42 per cent of businesses saying their use of the Job Retention Scheme had prevented the need for redundancies.
According to the Office of National Statistics, national redundancies reached a record high of 370,000 in the three months to October 2020, an increase of a record 217,000 on the quarter.
The record redundancies highlight the continued impact of Covid-19 on the UK economy.
However, with the Job Retention Scheme now extended till April 2021 and a sense of hope coming from the rollout of vaccines, businesses remain hopeful that 2021 will be an improved year and one where they are able to start their recovery.
The way firms work had also changed, with many having staff operating from home.
Overall businesses say they have experienced significant challenges this year due to Covid-19 and Brexit, however the Chamber remain hopeful that 2021 will serve better opportunities.
Other findings from the survey: 30 per cent of firms experienced difficulties in recruitment, 78 per cent experienced at least one benefit of remote working, 66 per cent experienced at least one technology issue whilst working remotely, and 31 per cent plan to offer greater flexible working options over the next 12 months.