Former Dragons’ Den star James Caan warns workers will face ‘Bloody Sunday’ for job cuts when leave plan ends
James Caan, the recruiting entrepreneur and former star of Dragons’ Den, has warned that workers will face a ‘Bloody Sunday’ of job cuts when the leave plan expires on November 1.
He warned that unemployment will rise to “ uncomfortable levels ” – and criticized Rishi Sunak’s measures to keep staff in work at companies affected by lockdown restrictions.
The leave scheme, which supported nine million workers over the summer, will be replaced within two weeks by the much less generous Job Support Scheme. On leave, the government paid up to 80 percent of the wages. Under the new scheme, a maximum of one third of the hours ‘not worked’ is paid out by staff – in theory companies are encouraged to keep employees part-time.
Prediction: James Caan warned that unemployment will rise to ‘uncomfortable levels’
But a YouGov poll of 1,000 companies revealed that only 18 percent intended to take advantage of the Job Support Scheme, while only 6 percent said the scheme would prevent job cuts.
Caan said the economy will “get worse before it gets better.”
About the end of the leave arrangement, he said: “They call it Bloody Sunday. I applaud the government for everything they have tried. But they haven’t really solved the problem. They just put it off.
‘People went on leave because demand fell off a cliff and still hasn’t increased. I have been employed for 35 years and have daily contact with employers. I have no doubt that the number of unemployed will rise to a very uncomfortable level. ‘
Stuart Pringle, CEO of Silverstone, said the job plan “doesn’t work” for many hospitality businesses. The Formula 1 circuit is in crisis after spectators were banned and corporate events collapsed.
He said, ‘We just don’t have the business to keep people working. We have 100 of the 150 employees on leave and will lose a third of that. We’ve gotten to the point where we need an emergency grant. ‘