Trade union believes there are more than 100,000 redundancies planned this year

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More than 100,000 redundancies were planned in the first four months of the year, according to research by a UK trade union.

The figures, obtained by GMB under the Freedom of Information Act, are being discussed at the union’s annual conference, which starts on June 07.

According to the GMB, at least 105,000 potential redundancies were notified to the Insolvency Service by 1,200 employers between January and April.

business - Business News Scotland
Photo by Charles Forerunner on Unsplash. The number of redundancies are lower than the 165,000 planned in the same period last year.

Employers are only required to report potential redundancies when more than 20 are planned, so the true figure might be higher.

According to the ONS, some of the worst affected sectors include services, hospitality, and manufacturing.

KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation reported yesterday that demand for staff was growing at its fastest rate since 1998. 

GMB’s 103rd annual Congress, where the lay member, ruling body of GMB decides the policy, is taking place online this year due to the ongoing pandemic

recruitment problems - Business News Scotland
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash. Some employers are now experiencing recruitment problems as the economy reopens.

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “A furlough cliff-edge later this year could have dire consequences for employment, and the UK government’s ‘open-mindedness’ over an extension to the job retention scheme needs to become a reality.

“Ministers must learn the lessons of the last fifteen months and take nothing for granted, so extending furlough simply makes sense, providing continued support for employers that will need it to retain jobs and skills.

“A recovery is a process, not an event, and as these findings expose the fragilities in our economy and labour market. It would be negligent of the government to think we can go back to “business as usual”.

A UK government spokesperson has said: “The UK Government has stood by businesses and their staff throughout the pandemic.

“We understand the pressure businesses and individuals are currently under ?which is why we’re helping them with a £352 billion support package, among the most generous in the world.

“We stand ready to support anyone affected by redundancies.

“If people need financial support quickly, they may be able to claim ?through a range of measures.”