The North West is predicted to have the highest cases of stress and anxiety as waves of redundancies are predicted in the region as employers are asked to contribute to furlough.
Last week figures from the Learning and Work institute predicted the North West to be the most at risk region in the UK for redundancies, as employers make the uncomfortable decision to contribute to furloughed tapering or make redundancies.
Today, new research by Stay Nimble shows the impact on the region could be even greater than job losses – as employees who experience badly handled redundancy are more at risk of developing mental issues.
One in five respondents in the North West claimed to have experienced anxiety following or during the redundancy process, and a further 25 per cent said it caused stress and panic attacks.
Of those surveyed in the region more than a quarter said they felt insecure and more than half saying the process left them feeling sad or no longer valued.
When asked if the felt they were treated poorly or had considered legal action following redundancy – almost half the people surveyed in the North West agreed.
Founder of social enterprise Stay Nimble, Dominic Atkinson is urging the region’s business leaders to think smart about how they handle redundancy – advising employees get the same investment leaving the role as they would starting it.
An overwhelming three quarters of people in the North West said having financial advice, career coaching and mental health support when exiting a business would have had a major impact on their future success.
Dominic Atikinson, who uses the platform to provide digital career coaching, said:
“These findings really demonstrate the devastating impact that redundancy can have on an individual. There is a lot of focus on safeguarding the wellbeing of current employees, but it seems that this goes out of the window when an individual is no longer required within the business. If C-19 has taught us anything, it is the need to be kinder and more human.”
With 41 percent of respondents in the North West admitting they didn’t trust their employer to handle redundancy well, and over half said they would share a bad redundancy experience on social media, businesses need to consider the lasting impression they leave on an exiting employee as it could be reputationally damaging.
Dominic added: “Badly handled redundancy can also have a knock-on effect on ‘surviving’ employees, in the North west alone our study showed 65 per cent of those avoiding redundancy felt they were negatively affected by the experience.
“From feeling like their own job was no longer safe to believing that their employer didn’t care about its people, the findings painted a bleak picture for the entire post-furlough workforce. We firmly believe it is time for employers in the North West to recognise redundancy as part of the employee experience, and ensure their exit gets the same investment and attention as an employee joining the business.”
Following the research, Stay Nimble has launched a whitepaper, Best Practice Offboarding, to help businesses offer employers advice for navigating post furlough redundancies.
Stay Nimble is a UK social enterprise, disrupting the career coaching space through accessible and affordable digital career management support.