In Brief

At least 10,000 UK workers axed in two days as clock ticks down on Covid jobs scheme

Many thousands of further redundancies are expected

At least 10,000 jobs have been slashed in the UK in just 48 hours as companies battle to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis.  

High-street retailers and the aviation sector are “bearing the brunt of the losses” as the economic impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, says The Times.

SSP, the parent company of Upper Crust, announced yesterday that 5,000 employees were being made redundant, while John Lewis, Harrods and Philip Green’s Arcadia, which owns Topshop, confirmed a total of around 1,200 job losses.

Harrods managing director Michael Ward pointed to both social distancing measures and the “devastation in international trade” when explaining the company’s decision to cut around 14% of its 4,800-strong workforce.

The news came less than 24 hours after plane-maker Airbus announced 1,700 staff cuts in the UK, and easyJet shared “plans to pull out of Stansted, Southend and Newcastle Airports, possibly putting more than 700 jobs at risk”, reports ITV News.

Aviation firms are in the midst of “the gravest crisis the industry has ever experienced”, said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury.

Meanwhile, menswear company TM Lewin collapsed into administration, costing 600 jobs, with furniture store Harveys also going under, resulting in 240 redundancies.

A further 900 cuts were announced at management consulting firm Accenture, while 300 redundancies are being made across Virgin Money, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, according to the BBC.

And many more job losses are expected as other companies seek to reduce costs ahead of the winding down of the government’s furlough scheme.

The Bank of England has predicted unemployment rates may hit 10% by the end of this year, reports the Financial Times

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