Vaccine opportunities have kept many people hopeful over the last few months as coronavirus continued to impact family life and the economy. Today, in much needed good news, the first official dosage of a Pfizer created vaccine was administered in what hopefully will be a sign of things to come.
However, Paula Gardner, a director of the Redundancy Recovery Hub, detailed outlooks in this area could already be reversing in light of the news: “With so many people facing redundancy at the moment, this vaccine really is a game-changer and offers hope for 2021.
“Already I have sensed a lift in people’s attitudes to their job hunting.
“They know the next few months will be tough but there is a new level of optimism out there.”
This will be especially poignant for the nation’s elderly at the moment, with the latest data from the ONS highlighting 90,000 people aged 50+ were made redundant between June and September 2020, the highest rate seen since 2009.
Additional figures from the ONS show the number of working households fell by 158,000 over the last quarter and 236,000 on the year.
Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva, commented on these findings and expanded on what it could mean for workers: “These latest figures provide further insight into the scale of the impact the pandemic has had on the UK labour market.
“A reduction in the number of working households has been partly driven by firms reacting to lower demand by shrinking their staffing levels.
“Older and younger workers are being hit the hardest by the disruption in the UK labour market caused by the pandemic.
“Younger workers have been more prone to redundancy because they represent a large proportion of the workforce experiencing the most severe income shocks, like the hospitality and retail sectors. “At the other end of the scale, older workers who fall out of the labour market often struggle to find another job on the same wage, which can lead to a contraction in their retirement resources.
“Losing older workers and disenfranchised young people to economic inactivity could represent a serious drain on talent.”
While redundancy fears may abide in the coming months, there are still many people who will likely lose their employment and income as a result of the pandemic, which could be exacerbated as Government support measures come to a close.
Fortunately, the Government have made steps to address this, as additional funding totalling £150million will be awarded to the Flexible Support Fund, which includes an increased capacity for the Rapid Response Service.
This service can advise those facing redundancy of their options and full details can be found on the Government’s website.