Employers are planning the lowest number of job cuts for over six years, with latest figures from the Insolvency Service showing 15,661 positions at risk in June 2021. One year ago the comparable figure was ten times higher, the worst on record.
Employers planning 20 or more redundancies have to file a form called HR1 notifying government at the start of the process. This data gives an early indication of moves in the labour market, months before they show up in the official unemployment figures.
Proposed redundancies have been on a downward trend since September 2020, despite two lockdowns being imposed across most of the UK during that period. June 2021 saw the lowest monthly total since February 2015.
The data only covers firms proposing 20 or more job cuts, so smaller firms are not picked up by these figures. The figures are not classified as Official Statistics, which are subject to rigorous quality control procedures.
The picture appears to be positive as it seems that we have moved beyond last year’s mass of COVID-related redundancies. It is likely that businesses will have already made and communicated their staff plans for lockdown easing and the impact of furlough ending, so hopefully it really is good news.