Medium-sized businesses fear post-furlough redundancies

More than half (60%) of the UK’s medium-sized businesses are planning redundancies when the coronavirus job retention scheme comes to an end in October, according to research from BDO

The firm’s survey of 500 businesses with revenue between £10m-£350m found 89% have already made up to a fifth of staff redundant, with more job losses expected in the coming months.

Less than 10% have no plans for any job cuts at all.

Prospects for the future look mixed, with a third (32%) expressing concern over funding arrangements and reporting that they cannot continue trading for longer than six months given current conditions.

However, despite a challenging period, many medium-sized businesses have adapted quickly with over a third (33%) investing in new technology and more than a quarter (29%) launching new products or services as a result of the pandemic.

Over a third (41%) have recorded the same or an increase in revenues compared to the same time 12 months ago.

Half (57%) of those polled have now either partially or fully reopened their offices or place of work, while 18% remaining open throughout the pandemic.  

Paul Eagland, BDO managing partner, said: ‘The government took bold action with its furlough policy which has undoubtedly saved many jobs and businesses.

‘However, the harsh reality is that these are unprecedented times and we would encourage the government to introduce policies that will help UK business survive and ultimately compete internationally - other governments around the world are and will be introducing policies to protect their businesses - we must not fall behind, particularly with Brexit looming.’

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