“What are my redundancy rights?”, “is my job is safe from redundancy?”, or “what does it mean I’ve been made redundant?”. These are all sadly common queries and searches right now, as the UK economy and job market takes its biggest hit with a post-pandemic recession. Naturally, Brits have turned to Google to help them find out what redundancy means and find answers to growing concerns across the UK.
Employment law firm, KLG Law, has today revealed its latest study uncovering the state of redundancy concern across the UK by revealing areas where those searches and concerns about losing jobs are highest:
UK’s cities with the most redundancy concerns
Note: search volume on scale of 1-100
Stoke-on-Trent – search volume 100
Edinburgh – search volume 100
Cardiff – search volume 100
Leeds – search volume 98
Bristol – search volume 98
Sheffield – search volume 94
London – search volume 92
Birmingham – search volume 85
Manchester – search volume 83
Liverpool – search volume 71
Stoke-on-Trent, Edinburgh, Cardiff are the top three cities most concerned about redundancy. Their search volume score is the highest in the UK, totaling a value of 100.
Scotland has seen a 4.5% increase in unemployment this year and is the third UK region with the highest unemployment rate, according to the Office of National Statistics report in August 2020, explaining the concern in Edinburgh city. Its airport is reported to have reduced their workforce by a third due to the covid pandemic previously; a big recruiter in the city.
Cardiff, which features the third highest, has been on the verge of a huge economic shock with concerns of thousands of jobs being cut across key establishments such as Cardiff University, Debenhams and even BBC Cymru Wales.
Anita Kalra, managing director of KLG Law comments: “According to the August 2020 ONS labour report, the number of UK redundancies has increased by 27,000 in the quarter. This is huge; many industries are suffering in ways not experienced since 2008. It’s important to remember that not everyone knows what to do when they are made redundant, it can be extremely overwhelming.”
“Some employers unfortunately lack the relevant support and resources to help their employees through this difficult and uncertain time and naturally employees turn to Google for support to answer their concerns. This study has been really interesting as it’s given us a snapshot of concern across the UK, but also which areas – and respective industries in those areas – are suffering most,” Anita adds.
Regions with the biggest unemployment
Note: this data is taken from ONS unemployment data, August 2020
UK regions with highest unemployment
London – 5.1% increase in unemployment
North East – 5.0% increase in unemployment
West Midlands – 4.4% increase in unemployment
Scotland – 4.3% increase in unemployment
East Midlands – 4% increase in unemployment
When have Brits been most worried about their jobs?
KLG Law’s study reveals that Google searches for ‘redundancy’ peaked across the entire UK on July 30th 2020. This can be directly linked to the day that the UK government officially passed the law that furloughed employees who are then made redundant are to receive their redundancy pay based on their normal wage, and not on their reduced furlough pay; which may have led to mild panic about job security post-furlough.
What are our concerns and searches?
The top Google searches relating to ‘redundancy’ during the period of 01 January – 07 August 2020 are:
redundancy on furlough
redundancy during furlough
Anita comments on support available: “Redundancy has unfortunately become a harsh possibility for UK workers, but there is support available. It’s important to remember – whether it’s you, a friend, colleague or family member – no one is alone or unique in this situation. There is no shame in it either. With access to the correct resources, many employees will find comfort in the facts and rights they have, and can stay afloat amidst the worry and uncertainty unemployment brings.”
“We’ve developed a guide for any one finding themselves in this situation during the covid-19 pandemic and are also working closely and offering advice to those who have been made redundant unfairly to ensure companies are being legally compliant at all times and taking legal action where necessary,” Anita explains.