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Protecting jobs key to future growth

Low earners, young people and those already suffering from workplace inequalities are more likely to lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic, according to a leading researcher from the University of Central Lancashire.

However, creative approaches to look at the makeup of jobs and implementing practices such as job sharing and reduced hours can protect more people from being made redundant and help businesses to grow back quicker.

Dr Adrian Wright, Director of the Institute of Research into Organisations, Work and Employment at the University of Central Lancashire, said that businesses which can find ways to avoid redundancies will be in the best shape to recover and grow back stronger.

He said: “We know from our research that the people who are hit the hardest by the pandemic are the people who are already at a disadvantage. Young people and women are more likely to work in sectors where the risk of redundancy is higher, such as hospitality, leisure, retail and the cultural sectors, in addition women disproportionately take on much of the unpaid caring roles in the household for children or elderly relatives.

“Unfortunately, the unequal impact of Covid on certain sectors makes their workforce more vulnerable to cuts and redundancies, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Employees are an investment and keeping hold of them through tough times will only make them more worthwhile to your company in the long run.

“What we learned from the last economic recession was that the businesses who found a way to hold on to their employees were the ones who were able to bounce back quickest when we returned to growth.

“Companies who find creative solutions to reimagine the makeup of work to keep their staff on – from reducing hours and leveraging the government support schemes, creating job shares so that extra hours can be covered or taking the time to train up staff to prepare for growth in new sectors as well help deal with workplace inequalities.”

The University of Central Lancashire is providing businesses across Lancashire with a range of support to bounce back stronger through its range of Business at UCLan support programmes and packages.

In addition to using University research to expand, the service also offers expert advice on reducing energy bills, bring new products to market, accessing marketing support or networking with other similar companies.