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Soaring demand for redundancy advice

Demand for advice around redundancy is soaring, according to new data from Citizens Advice Scotland, with almost 1 in 5 employment queries to the network concerning redundancy.

The charity’s latest weekly report highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on advice sought from the Citizens Advice network in Scotland shows a significant rise in the number of people seeking advice on redundancy. 

During the first three weeks of June, advice in relation to redundancy was issued 907 times to people seeking help from the 59 Citizens Advice bureaux across Scotland. 

In comparison, 543 pieces of redundancy advice were given in the whole month of April and 6 79 pieces in May.

In February, 9 per of all employment advice was in relation to redundancy. By May this had increased to 12 per cent, and so far in June is at 18 per cent. As a proportion of all employment advice, redundancy advice has increased by 100 per cent since February.

In the seven days from 15 June, the page helping people check if their redundancy is fair was viewed 224 times. In contrast, the same page received 46 views on average per week in February.

CAS Social Justice Spokesperson Mhoraig Green said: “This is a stark increase in demand for advice around redundancy, it’s clear that the economic impact of Covid-19 is being felt now.

“There is a real risk this impact becomes even worse in the months to come without  an ambitious policy response.

“The Jobs Retention Scheme has been broadly successful in ensuring people have an income during lockdown but some people have fallen through the cracks and employers are starting to face difficult decisions about what comes next as the economy reopens and support winds down, with news of significant job cuts becoming a familiar feature in recent days.

“The response from government in the weeks and months ahead will be vital for defining the next decade. We need an approach that protects jobs and creates new ones, as well as strengthening the social security safety net to prevent people being swept into poverty by an economic storm. 

“The Citizens Advice network has been helping people for over 80 years and we stand ready to help people again through this crisis.”