IoD: More action needed to counteract coronavirus job losses

Responding to the latest official employment figures, indicating that the number of employees on payrolls has fallen by 695,000 since March, Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Coronavirus is taking its toll on the jobs market, but the full extent of the damage is still to emerge.

“With the Job Retention Scheme winding down, cash-strapped firms will be struggling to support their staff. Redundancies are only likely to increase as state support for employee wages ceases at the end of October. For many companies, demand remains very much limited, with local lockdowns and renewed restrictions adding to the difficulties.

“The Government must act quickly to counteract job losses and prevent the scarring effect of long-term unemployment. With youth unemployment increasing, the Kickstart Scheme targets a critical area, but the Treasury should go much further.

“Broad-based measures to lower the cost of hiring and retaining staff, particularly by reducing the burden of employers’ National Insurance Contributions, are needed. The Chancellor should avoid any delays to the Budget, the sooner action can be taken the better. With firms set to make difficult decisions on their staff, indications that further assistance is on its way will be even more crucial.”