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Half of business owners say employee wellbeing has deteriorated since lockdown

Graeme Cade EVP 7 May 2020

B2B coronavirus tracker: 7th May 2020

Each week that lockdown remains, the dilemma grows.

80% of businesses report that COVID-19 is having a negative impact on them

Whilst in lockdown, the country’s economic and mental health continue to deteriorate. Yet easing lockdown too far or too quickly could result in a new deadly spike in cases.

The view of UK businesses? For the moment, hold fast.

Businesses are of course suffering. Four in five (80%) report that COVID-19 is having a negative impact on them and only two-thirds (66%) are confident that their business can survive the crisis.

And employees are feeling the strain too – both economically and in terms of their mental health. Over a quarter (29%) of the UK workforce report having lost their job or seen a reduction in take-home salary as a result of the crisis. Meanwhile, half of businesses state that employee wellbeing has deteriorated since lockdown, particularly so amongst employees of larger businesses (62% of medium and large businesses vs. 42% of small businesses).

All this might suggest that businesses would be screaming for lockdown to end. But they aren’t.

Over two thirds of businesses (69%) say that they support a lockdown extension.

Perhaps that’s less surprising when you consider that over half of the populace (55%) are at least ‘very worried’ about coronavirus. The risk presented by COVID-19 is still felt to be too high.

If the lockdown is extended, this will undoubtedly put even greater demand on support from both the state and the financial sector. A third of all businesses (32% of small businesses and 34% of medium / large businesses) report having applied for the furlough scheme already, whilst just over half of businesses (51%) say they have confidence in the response of the banking sector to the crisis, with 8% having applied for a loan and 12% an increased overdraft facility.

For now, the damaging effects of COVID-19 are being counterbalanced by support schemes and the fear of moving too quickly and triggering an even worse situation. For now, businesses are prepared to hold fast.

The data in this article is taken from Savanta’s suite of COVID-19 trackers including a daily consumer behaviour tracker, weekly consumer sentiment tracker, and bi-weekly B2B behaviour and sentiment tracker.

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