Fears of 'economic Armageddon' unless workers return to work with as many as 135,000 jobs on the line in Britain

BRITS have been warned of an "economic Armageddon" unless workers return to work, with as many as 135,000 jobs on the line in Britain.

A surge in redundancies have been announced since the coronavirus pandemic hit, with firms including Boots, EasyJet, Pret A Manger and WHSmith taking the hit.

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The lay-offs continued on Wednesday as WH Smith announced it would cull 1,500 staff, mostly at train stations and airports, due to a collapse in the number of commuters and holidaymakers.

WH Smith boss Carl Cowling said: "I regret that this will have an impact on a significant number of colleagues… we will do everything we can to support them at this challenging time."

It comes as more British workers are staying at home more than anywhere else in Europe – leading to pressure on the Government to get Britain moving again.

Iain Duncan Smith said: "It's outrageous that people are still being told they shouldn't go back to work.

"If they don't go back to work, economic Armageddon will hit Britain and with it will come swathes of unemployment leading to even more lives being lost."

Just over a third of Brits have headed back to the office and sat behind theirdesks after the PM scrapped home-work advice on August 1.

It means the UK is lagging behind all major European countries – in France 83 per cent of office staff are back at their desks and 70 per cent of Germans have given up working from home, according to a survey by Morgan Stanley.

But despite the Prime Minister's efforts to get the economy moving again, many companies have said they will keep staff working at home well into next year.

Clothing chain M&Co will shut 47 stores and shed 380 jobs after going bust in April, while bookmaker William Hill said yesterday that 119 of its betting shops will shut due to a lack of customers.

It also emerged last night that about 1,500 staff at hotels managed by LGH in England and Scotland could lose their jobs – whose hotels include Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Hallmark.

Analysis by the Daily Mail found that of large firms that have disclosed figures, 22,500 job cuts are in retail, 18,100 in restaurants, and 21,600 in travel and airlines.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the analysis revealed 230,000 people are set to lose their jobs at more than 100 of Britain's largest firms, both here and abroad.

The cuts follow announcements from Pizza Express, Currys PC World, Hays Travel and DW Sports, which are slashing up to 4,470 jobs between them. 

Some of the other major firms slashing staff include Boots (4,000), EasyJet (1,900 in Britain), (John Lewis (1,300), Marks and Spencer (950), and Pret A Manger (1,000 at risk) and Virgin Atlantic (3,150).

JOB LOSSES IN BRITAIN

The following firms have announced cuts to jobs since March 23…

August 5

LGH (hotel group – 1,500 at risk

WH Smith – 1,500

M&Co – 380

August 4

Dixons Carphone – 800

Pizza Express – at risk 1,10

August 3

Hays Travel – up to 878

DW Sports – at risk 1,700

July 31

Byron – 651

July 30

Pendragon – 1,800

July 28

Selfridges – 450

July 27

Oak Furnitureland – at risk 163

July 23

Dyson – 600 plus 300 abroad

July 22

Mears – fewer than 200

Fortnum & Mason – 50

July 20

Marks & Spencer – at risk 950

July 17

Azzurri Group – up to 1,200

July 16

Genting – at risk 1,642

Burberry – 150 plus 350 abroad

July 15

Banks Mining – at risk 250

Buzz Bingo – at risk 57

July 14

Vertu – 345

DFS  – at risk 200

July 9

General Electric – 369

Boots – 4,000

John Lewis – at risk 1,300

Burger King – at risk 1,600

July 7

Polypipe – 250

Reach (newspaper group) – 550

July 6

Pret a Manger – at risk 1,000

July 2

Luton Airport – 250

Casual Dining Group – 1,909

July 1

SSP (owns Upper Crust) – at risk 5,000

Arcadia (owns TopShop) – 500

Harrods – 700

Virgin Money – 300

Accenture – 900

Norwich Theatre Royal – 113

Willmott Dixon – 100 

June 30

Airbus- 1,700

TM Lewin – 600

Wright’s Pies – 80

Harveys – 240

June 25

Royal Mail- 2,000

June 24

Jet2 – 102

Swissport – 4,556

Crest Nicholson – 130

June 19

Aer Lingus – 500 

 June 15

Jaguar Land Rover – 1,100

Travis Perkins – 2,500 

June 12

Le Pain Quotidien – 200

June 11

Heathrow – 25,000

Bombardier – 600 plus 1,900 abroad

Johnson Matthey – 2,500

Centrica – 5,000

Grant Thornton – 70

June 10

Quiz – 93

Restaurant Group – 3,000

Monsoon Accessorise -545

Everest Windows – 188

June 8

BP – worldwide 10,000

Mulberry – 375 

June 5

Victoria’s Secret – at risk 800

Bentley – 1,000

June 4

Aston Martin – 500

Lookers – 1,500

June 1

Triumph – 240 plus 160 abroad

May 29

Belfast International Airport – 45

May 28

EasyJet – 1,900 plus 2,600 abroad

May 26

McLaren – 1,200

May 22

Shearings Holidays – 2,500

Carluccio’s – 1,000

May 21

Clarks – 900

May 20

Rolls-Royce –  6,000 plus 3,000 abroad

May 19

Ovo Energy – 2,600

Antler – 164

May 15

JCB – at risk 950

The Economist – worldwide 90

May 13

Tui – 270 plus 7,730 abroad

May 12

Carnival UK – 450

May 11

P&O Ferries – worldwide 1,100

May 5

Virgin Atlantic – 3,150

May 1

Ryanair – worldwide 3,000

April 30

Oasis Warehouse – 1,800

April 29

Deliveroo – worldwide 350

April 28

British Airways – 12,000

April 23

Safran Seats – 400

Meggitt – worldwide 1,800

April 21

Cath Kidston – 900

April 17

Debenhams – 422

March 31

Laura Ashley – 268

March 30

BrightHouse – at risk 2,400 March 27

Chiquito – at risk 1,500 

John Menzies – worldwide 17,500

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