Redundancy Statistics 2020 – Coronavirus

4 weeks ago

Coronavirus has been devastating for the economy. And with the Furlough Scheme coming to end to be replaced with a less generous Job Support Scheme, things are likely to get tougher yet.


A huge number of jobs have already been lost as the result of Coronavirus but just how bleak is the picture? We take a look at redundancy statistics across the UK in 2020.


Redundancy Statistics in a Nutshell

Data from the Office of National Statistics shows an increase in the number of people being made redundant (unsurprisingly) since lockdown was announced in March 2020. 

redundancy statistics uk

At the time of writing, the data is only available up to July 2020.

From December 2019 to February 2020, the redundancy rate in the UK was running at 3.8 redundancies per 1,000 employees ( or 0.38%).

Fast forward to May – July 2020 and this is up to 5.6 per 1,000 employees (or 0.56%).

That stark increase is a far cry from the astronomical numbers of the 2009 recession highlighted in the graph.

In real terms, how many redundancies does this equate to?

Well, there are an estimated 30.5 million employees in the UK. So a redundancy rate of 5.6 per 1000 means 170,800 jobs lost

But this isn’t a complete picture.

The data is not yet available for August. The Furlough Scheme ends in late October and its replacement is not as generous.


It’s therefore very reasonable to expect that redundancies will be significantly higher over coming months.



Redundancy Statistics: What Search Tells Us

With Government data only available up to the end of July and a very fast paced situation, we took a look at Google to assess whether redundancy is front of mind for more employers.

It’s a pretty bleak picture. According to data from, searches in the UK for “redundancy process,” (a query that implies employers looking for information on this) were up significantly over recent months:

Redundancy process statistics
Searches for “Redundancy Process” in the UK
  •  In July 2019, 1,300 people searched for “redundancy process.” This was 12,100 searches, representing an increase of 831%
  • Searches for “redundancy letter” rose from 880 to 2,400 over the same period (a 172% increase)

The graph below from Google Trends shows these queries following a near identical pattern in terms of increases in prevalence.

There are lots of other redundancy related queries that have seen surges in searches from July 2019 to July 2020 too:

redundancy statistics uk

QueryUK Searches July 2019UK Searches July 2020Change
Redundancy pay33100135000408%
Redundancy consultation160012100756%
Unfair redundancy3202400750%
Made redundant13004400338%
Redundancy rules5902900492%
Redundancy law10002900290%
Statutory redundancy pay540022200411%
Redundancy notice290014800510%
Being made redundant16004400275%
Redundancy advice320880275%

Big Companies Making Redundancies

A number of high profile companies have announced redundancies already since March 2020. Here’s a list of just some of them:

  • Easyjet is cutting up to 4,500 jobs
  • British Airways is cutting 12,000 jobs
  • Virgin Atlantic will cut “at least” 3,000 jobs
  • Ryanair will cut 3,000 jobs
  • P&O Ferries cut 1,100 jobs
  • Arcadia Group announced plans to make 500 jobs redundant from its Head Office
  • Marks and Spencer is cutting 7000 jobs
  • Heathrow Airport will be cutting at least 500 jobs
  • BP is cutting 2,000 UK jobs (and an estimated 10,000 worldwide)
  • Airbus announced 1,700 redundancies
  • Rolls Royce announced the loss of 3,000 UK jobs
  • Jaguar Land Rover has cut 1,000 jobs from its UK factories
  • TSB – up to 929 jobs at risk
  • The Restaurant Group (which owns Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Wagamama) announced at least 1,500 redundancies
  • John Lewis announced 8 permanent store closures putting around 1,300 jobs at risk

And that really is only the tip of the ice berg, highlighting just how significant the likely job losses will be.

Resources for Those Affected by Redundancy

If you’ve been affected by redundancy, here are some resources that may help:


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