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135,000 face the axe amid fear of ‘economic Armageddon’

The scale of the Covid-19 jobs bloodbath has been laid bare as a Mail audit found 135,000 jobs in Britain are facing the axe.

Analysis of the threat of redundancies since the virus took hold has revealed 230,000 jobs are set to go both here and abroad at more than 100 of Britain’s biggest firms.

The lay-offs continued on Wednesday as WH Smith announced it would cull 1,500 staff, mostly at train stations and airports, due to a collapse in the number of commuters and holidaymakers.

The scale of the Covid-19 jobs bloodbath has been laid bare as a Mail audit found 135,000 jobs in Britain are facing the axe

WH Smith boss Carl Cowling said: 'I regret that this will have an impact on a significant number of colleagues... we will do everything we can to support them at this challenging time'

WH Smith boss Carl Cowling said: ‘I regret that this will have an impact on a significant number of colleagues… we will do everything we can to support them at this challenging time’

Clothing chain M&Co will shut 47 stores and shed 380 jobs after going bust in April, while bookmaker William Hill said 119 of its betting shops will shut due to a lack of customers.

Tonight it also emerged that about 1,500 staff at hotels managed by LGH in England and Scotland could lose their jobs. Its hotels include Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Hallmark.

It follows announcements from Pizza Express, Currys PC World, Hays Travel and DW Sports, which are slashing up to 4,470 jobs between them. 

Analysis of the threat of redundancies since the virus took hold has revealed 230,000 jobs are set to go both here and abroad at more than 100 of Britain's biggest firms

Analysis of the threat of redundancies since the virus took hold has revealed 230,000 jobs are set to go both here and abroad at more than 100 of Britain’s biggest firms

The scale of job losses will intensify the pressure on the Government to get Britain back to work and to toughen the message to employers and staff.

Many cuts have been partly blamed on the gradual withdrawal of the furlough scheme. And MPs warned there will be more job cuts at smaller firms and called for more to be done.

Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘It’s outrageous that people are still being told they shouldn’t go back to work. If they don’t go back to work, economic Armageddon will hit Britain and with it will come swathes of unemployment leading to even more lives being lost.’

Analysis found that, of large firms that have disclosed figures, 22,500 job cuts are in retail, 18,100 in restaurants, and 21,600 in travel and airlines.

WH Smith boss Carl Cowling said: ‘I regret that this will have an impact on a significant number of colleagues… we will do everything we can to support them at this challenging time.’ 

Since lockdown was imposed on March 23, the following companies have announced major job cuts… 

 August 5

LGH (hotel group – 1,500 at risk

WH Smith – 1,500

M&Co – 380

August 4

Dixons Carphone – 800

Pizza Express – at risk 1,10

August 3

Hays Travel – up to 878

DW Sports – at risk 1,700

July 31

Byron – 651

July 30

Pendragon – 1,800

July 28

Selfridges – 450

July 27

Oak Furnitureland – at risk 163

July 23

Dyson – 600 plus 300 abroad

July 22

Mears – fewer than 200

Fortnum & Mason – 50

July 20

Marks & Spencer – at risk 950

July 17

Azzurri Group – up to 1,200

July 16

Genting – at risk 1,642

Burberry – 150 plus 350 abroad

July 15

Banks Mining – at risk 250

Buzz Bingo – at risk 57

July 14

Vertu – 345

DFS  – at risk 200

July 9

General Electric – 369

Boots – 4,000

John Lewis – at risk 1,300

Burger King – at risk 1,600

July 7

Polypipe – 250

Reach (newspaper group) – 550

July 6

Pret a Manger – at risk 1,000

July 2

Luton Airport – 250

Casual Dining Group – 1,909

July 1

SSP (owns Upper Crust) – at risk 5,000

Arcadia (owns TopShop) – 500

Harrods – 700

Virgin Money – 300

Accenture – 900

Norwich Theatre Royal – 113

Willmott Dixon – 100 

June 30

Airbus- 1,700

TM Lewin – 600

Wright’s Pies – 80

Harveys – 240

June 25

Royal Mail- 2,000

June 24

Jet2 – 102

Swissport – 4,556

Crest Nicholson – 130

June 19

Aer Lingus – 500 

 June 15

Jaguar Land Rover – 1,100

Travis Perkins – 2,500

June 12

Le Pain Quotidien – 200

June 11

Heathrow – 25,000

Bombardier – 600 plus 1,900 abroad

Johnson Matthey – 2,500

Centrica – 5,000

Grant Thornton – 70

 

 

June 10

Quiz – 93

Restaurant Group – 3,000

Monsoon Accessorise -545

Everest Windows – 188

June 8

BP – worldwide 10,000

Mulberry – 375 

June 5

Victoria’s Secret – at risk 800

Bentley – 1,000

June 4

Aston Martin – 500

Lookers – 1,500

June 1

Triumph – 240 plus 160 abroad

May 29

Belfast International Airport – 45

May 28

EasyJet – 1,900 plus 2,600 abroad

May 26

McLaren – 1,200

May 22

Shearings Holidays – 2,500

Carluccio’s – 1,000

May 21

Clarks – 900

May 20

Rolls-Royce –  6,000 plus 3,000 abroad

May 19

Ovo Energy – 2,600

Antler – 164

May 15

JCB – at risk 950

The Economist – worldwide 90

May 13

Tui – 270 plus 7,730 abroad

May 12

Carnival UK – 450

May 11

P&O Ferries – worldwide 1,100

May 5

Virgin Atlantic – 3,150

May 1

Ryanair – worldwide 3,000

April 30

Oasis Warehouse – 1,800

April 29

Deliveroo – worldwide 350

April 28

British Airways – 12,000

April 23

Safran Seats – 400

Meggitt – worldwide 1,800

April 21

Cath Kidston – 900

April 17

Debenhams – 422

March 31

Laura Ashley – 268

March 30

BrightHouse – at risk 2,400 March 27

Chiquito – at risk 1,500 

John Menzies – worldwide 17,500

 

 

More British workers are staying at home than in any other major European nations – but those who have gone back are doing so for longer 

David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent for MailOnline

Fewer British office workers have returned to their workplace than in any other major European country, new figures reveal today.

Little more than a third (34 per cent) of UK staff are back at their desks, with the remainder continuing to work from home.

This contrasts with 83 per cent of French office staff and 70 per cent of Germans, according to a survey by researchers at investment bank Morgan Stanley.

However, their analysis found that Britons who have returned to their offices are doing so for more days a week than continental rivals.

Almost half (46 per cent) of UK workers who have returned are working at least five days a week from their office, far more than in France, Germany, Italy or Spain.

The figures come amid a high street bloodbath with retailers experiencing massively reduced footfall.

WH Smith and M&Co axed hundreds of posts today, meaning the number of workers facing redundancy as a result of the Covid crisis is now above 100,000. 

One-in-20 shielding Brits not planning to return to work soon 

Around one in 20 people in England who had been shielding because of coronavirus are not planning on returning to work over the next few months.

Some 6 per cent of those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, who had normally worked before receiving shielding advice, said they were not intending to go back to work in the near future.

A further 21 per cent said they planned to continue working from home, while 35 per cent indicated they would return to their previous place of work.

The figures are from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and are based on a survey conducted between July 9 and 16.

A total of 2.2 million people in England were identified by the Government earlier this year as being clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to the impact of Covid-19, and had been advised to shield from others.

This advice was officially paused from August 1.

Tim Gibbs, from the ONS public services analysis team, said: “Before being advised to shield, almost a third of CEV people worked.

“Most are planning on returning to work or continuing to work from home in the next four months but around one in 20 CEV people are planning not to return to work.

“Of those who said they would return to work outside the home, 68 per cent reported they felt comfortable doing so, if either they or their employer put protective measures in place.”

The figures also show that, of those surveyed, 60 per cent reported completely following shielding guidance – the equivalent of an estimated 1.3 million people.

Some 65 per cent said they had received no visitors, except for support with personal care.

On July 6 the Government advised that CEV people could form a support bubble with another household, as well as be in open spaces for exercise and other reasons.

The ONS survey suggests that, of those who had received a visitor in the previous seven days not providing personal care, 36 per cent only had visitors from their support bubble, while 35 per cent had chosen not to form a bubble at all.

WH Smith this morning announced 1,500 layoffs after a plunge in customers going into its stores during the coronavirus pandemic, saying it needed to reduce costs as its shops in airports and train stations are hit by low passenger numbers and its high street stores also suffer from low footfall. 

Just over half of its UK travel shops have reopened and 246 of its largest sites have started trading again.

All of its 575 high-street stores have opened, the business said, but footfall is strongly down compared to last year.

Revenue was 57 per cent lower last month compared to July 2019, even as sites started to welcome customers back, with most of this loss coming from the travel arm.

M&Co said it will shut 47 fashion shops, cutting 380 staff roles, while gambling giant William Hill reveals it is keeping 119 of its betting shops across the UK closed for good amid fears in-store customer levels will not return to pre-pandemic levels. 

Boris Johnson last month updated official guidance for people to work from home where possible, in an attempt to breathe fresh life into the economy.

But he was later forced to row back on some liberalisation of the lockdown regime amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus in coming weeks. 

Monday was meant to be the day many Britons returned to their workplaces, but many offices, factories and other workplaces have remained closed.

The cost of furloughing millions of British workers rose by more than £2billion in the last week of July.

Some 9.6 million jobs had been covered by the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) up to August 2, Government figures show. This was an increase of 100,000 on the previous week.

The cumulative cost of the scheme rose from £31.7billion on July 26 to £33.8billion on Sunday, an increase of £2.1billion.

Last week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said almost a fifth of workers – an estimated six million people – remained on furlough despite Government attempts to bring the economy back to life. 

Pizza Express was among the big names to announce cuts yesterday, as bosses revealed they could shut 67 of its UK restaurants with up to 1,100 jobs at risk.

The 55-year-old company, owned by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, has debts of £735million and has put itself up for sale after bringing in experts.

Bosses at the chain said they wanted to push down rents by closing about 15 per cent of its 449 restaurants in the UK, which would help protect 9,000 jobs.

The news came as Currys PC World owner Dixons Carphone also announced today that it is to cut 800 jobs as part of an overhaul of its store management structure.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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