Some 42% of UK companies say they will be forced to lay off staff because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A YouGov survey found that more than two-fifths expect they will have fewer employees in a year’s time compared with pre-lockdown numbers. Just 16% of companies surveyed expect to employ more people in a year’s time than before lockdown.
Sectors most likely to say they will employ less staff are manufacturing, media and marketing, and financial services.
The survey also found that 47% of businesses have lower growth expectations, while just 15% expect to see higher growth.
YouGov’s Oliver Rowe said: “But while these are clearly difficult times for business, some will undoubtedly use this opportunity to reassess their current model and adapt to the new environment.
“Lots of businesses already say they will have less need for physical space, as staff working from home becomes more accepted, and almost half expect to make more use of online systems and software than they did prior to lockdown.”