The furlough hotspot of Merseyside as grim jobs prediction revealed

Employment experts have predicted that as many as 76,000 people currently on furlough in Merseyside are at risk of potential redundancy, with the numbers of people being paid by the Government's winding-down support scheme in each area revealed.

New figures released by Slater Heelis Solicitors have shown the total number of people currently on furlough in our region to be 173,900.

But the firm said that with the furlough scheme already winding down and ending on October 31, a "considerable proportion" of those currently not working won't be returning to their roles.

The figures released today show Knowsley on top in the number of people currently on furlough at 14,600, with Liverpool, Riverside second with 14,500.

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But it is predicted that 6,424 jobs in Knowsley and 6,380 in Riverside are at risk of redundancy with firms predicted to restructure.

Sarah Calderwood, partner in employment law at Slater Heelis, said: “As employer contributions to the furlough scheme increase, ahead of it ending on October 31, more businesses will be considering the future of their workforce and whether they need to restructure based on anticipated activity levels.

"It is a reality that a considerable proportion of those currently not working will not be returning to their roles as a result.

“Research and reports from employers are mixed, with some sectors struggling to operate under distancing guidelines and local lockdown guidelines, while other businesses have experienced an influx of demand due to changing needs.

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"Those sectors that have been hit harder than others, such as hospitality and travel, are still subject to strict measures, while far fewer office-based employees than anticipated have returned to the workplace to date.”

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The figures show almost one in three employees in Merseyside were put onto the furlough scheme by their employer.

They predict more than two fifths of organisations will have to make some or all of their furloughed staff redundant when the scheme comes to an end, meaning a total of 76,516 employees are at risk in the region.

Third in the table was Garston and Halewood, for which it is predicted 6,160 jobs out of 14,000 currently on furlough are at risk, while St Helens South and Whiston was fourth, with 5,632 out of 12,800 furloughed jobs predicted to be at risk.

Slater Heelis said it has seen an influx of 50% in employment law enquiries, as employers navigate the new flexible furlough scheme which allows employers to bring back their workers part time while lockdown restrictions are eased.

Here is the table showing the areas where most people are on furlough – and risk of redundancy, by parliamentary constituency:

Parliamentary constituency/region

People furloughed

At risk of potential redundancy

Merseyside

173,900

76,516

Birkenhead

10,700

4,708

Bootle

12,400

5,456

Garston and Halewood

14,000

6,160

Knowsley

14,600

6,424

Liverpool, Riverside

14,500

6,380

Liverpool, Walton

11,600

5,104

Liverpool, Wavertree

11,500

5,060

Liverpool, West Derby

11,800

5,192

Sefton Central

9,100

4,004

Southport

11,300

4,972

St Helens North

12,500

5,500

St Helens South and Whiston

12,800

5,632

Wallasey

10,600

4,664

Wirral South

8,900

3,916

Wirral West

7,600

3,344

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