A new survey from ACAS has found that over a third of employers are likely to make staff redundant in the next three months.

Respondents to the survey were asked how likely, if at all, they or their organisation were to make staff redundant between now and December 2020.

Of the 2,097 businesses that replied, 37 per cent said that they were likely to make redundancies, 56 per cent said they were unlikely to do so, while seven per cent said they did not know.

For large businesses employing more than 250 employees, the figure was even higher, with 60 per cent reporting that they were likely to make redundancies. A third (33 per cent) said they were unlikely to do so and seven per cent said that they did not know whether they would or not. 

The businesses that said they were likely to make redundancies were then asked if they planned to manage this process on a remote basis (by video call or phone) or on a more face-to-face basis or a mixture of both. The results were:

  • More remotely – 27 per cent.
  • More face-to-face – 33 per cent.
  • A mixture of both – 33 per cent.
  • Do not know – 8 per cent.


Of the businesses that took part in the survey, one in four bosses admitted that they were unaware what the current law says about the need to consult staff before making redundancies. That figure increased to one in three (33 per cent) among businesses which have fewer than 50 workers.

Employers and employees can contact the government’s Rapid Response Service for free information in advance of being made redundant, during the notice period and up to 13 weeks after being made redundant (see weekly LELR 686).

You can find out more on what the law says about redundancies here.

Thompsons advises that if redundancies are unavoidable, workers should, through their union, consider whether a settlement agreement may offer a practical way forward. In the event that they receive a settlement agreement, they can contact Thompsons’ settlement agreement unit for advice here.