Smith & Williamson discuss business recovery plans

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Smith & Williamson’s South Coast office has hosted its second virtual Business Breakfast Club. The event attracted over 115 participants including leaders from a large range of businesses and organisations representing different sectors in the region.

With the end of the furlough scheme looming, the webinar at the end of July focused on the impact of companies needing to review costs and being faced with the difficult decision to consider redundancies as part of their business recovery plans.

Guesting as a panellist, Jon Hales, Southampton Office Head and an Employment Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, talked about the key issues to consider when making redundancies. Jon said “We are clearly entering difficult territory in the jobs market and employers needs to consider all possible alternatives prior to making redundancies.” He added “If redundancies cannot be avoided it is vital that employers demonstrate that they have followed a fair procedure.”

Smith & Williamson’s South Coast Managing Partner, Andrew Edmonds commented: “As businesses are expected to bear more of the cost around the furlough scheme, more jobs look set to be lost and this will make the recession feel rather different to the last one. This will be a jobs recession, the first one of these we’ve really had since the early 1980s. This seems to be borne out by the recent British Chamber of Commerce survey of 7,400 businesses published last week which said that 29% of businesses are expecting to make redundancies over the next three months.

Andrew added: “We are already seeing jobs being lost at some local companies. While some are definitely Coronavirus-related, there is also a sense that businesses are taking the opportunity to look at the broader organisational structure, which is perhaps long overdue in some cases.”

The webinar was recorded and can be viewed