9,900 British jobs lost in single day as major brands announce cuts

9 July 2020, 14:08

9,900 jobs have been lost today
9,900 jobs have been lost today. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The British job market has lost another 9,900 jobs as companies haemorrhage workers in an effort to stay alive.

On Thursday Boots, John Lewis, Burger King and Rolls Royce all announced cuts to their work force as the coronavirus crisis continues to wreak havoc on the British economy.

Today's losses come the day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £30 billion package designed to save jobs.

But despite the measures, Boots today announced losses of 4,000 jobs to mitigate the "significant impact" of Covid-19.

It will affect around 7% of the company's workforce and will particularly affect staff in its Nottingham support office.

It will also affect some deputy and assistant manager, beauty adviser and customer adviser roles across its stores.The restructuring will also result in the closure of 48 Boots Opticians stores.

Rolls Royce said 3,000 of its staff in the UK had applied for voluntary redundancy, as part of 9,000 cuts to its global workforce.

Boots today announced losses of 4,000 jobs to mitigate the "significant impact" of Covid-19
Boots today announced losses of 4,000 jobs to mitigate the "significant impact" of Covid-19. Picture: PA

And John Lewis has announced it is to permanently close eight of its stores, putting 1,300 workers at risk.

The company said two full-size department stores in Birmingham and Watford, four smaller At Home shops in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth, as well as two 'travel hub' outlets at Heathrow and St Pancras will not reopen after their doors were closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Its flagship Oxford Street outlet will not be affected.John Lewis said the eight shops were already "financially challenged" before the pandemic, which has ramped up the shift towards online shopping.

The boss of Burger King has warned that up to 1,600 UK jobs could be lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Only about 370 of the restaurant chain's 530 UK stores have reopened since the nation went into lockdown.

Chief executive Alasdair Murdoch told the BBC that the economic damage stemming from the crisis could ultimately force the company to permanently close up to 10% of its stores.

John Lewis today announced cuts
John Lewis today announced cuts. Picture: PA

He said "We don't want to lose any (jobs). We try very hard not to, but one's got to assume somewhere between 5% and 10% of the restaurants might not be able to survive.

READ MORE: Cost of coronavirus crisis rises to £190 billion

"It's not just us - I think this applies to everyone out there in our industry."

The Chancellor's summer statement on Wednesday saw the bill for tackling the coronavirus crisis rise to £190 billion, according to treasury figures.

Mr Sunak's statement contained the potential for £30 billion of extra spending on top of almost £160 billion already committed to dealing with the coronavirus emergency - a figure far higher than previously estimated - and there is little indication of how the Treasury intends to pay for it.

Burger King is looking at cutting 10% of its workforce
Burger King is looking at cutting 10% of its workforce. Picture: PA

Unveiling announcements in a "plan for jobs", Mr Sunak also:

- Announced an "eat out to help out" plan for dining out in August to boost the hospitality sector, with a 50% discount per head from Monday to Wednesday up to a maximum discount of £10 per diner.

- Slashed VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5% from July 15 until January 12, a tax cut worth up to £4 billion.

- Confirmed plans to abolish stamp duty on properties up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland under a temporary measure lasting until March 31 2021.

- Set out a scheme for firms to be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25 and a new bonus of £1,500 for apprentices over that age.

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