Covid-19 impact leaves Irish employees fearing the worst

Over 70 per cent of Irish employees impacted by Covid-19 are not confident that the changes to their job will be ever be reversed.

More than 60 per cent (pc) of Irish employees are worried about the impact of Covid-19 on their job, and their ability to find a job in the future, according to new research conducted by recruitment platform, Jobs.ie.

The survey conducted among employees across 40 different industries, found that Covid-19 has already impacted over 80pc of people’s jobs. 

Of those who have been impacted by the global pandemic, 45pc have been let go on a temporary basis with a further 16pc saying that they have been let go permanently. Many others employees have experienced reduced working hours, pay reductions, company closures, redundancies or have moved to a working from home environment.

The results of the survey also show that Covid-19 has affected people’s jobs at all experience levels, including 82pc of those who are in their current role for less than a year, 86pc of those who have been in their role between one and three years, and 80pc of those who have been working in their current job for more than three years. 

“There remains high levels of uncertainty among employees as to if and when they might be able to return to work on a permanent basis”

Of those surveyed, over 70pc of employees said they are not confident that the changes to their role will be reversed by their employer in the future.

“As we move towards phase two of the Government’s Covid-19 roadmap to reopening the economy, we are seeing more and more businesses opening their doors once again,” said Christopher Paye, general manager at Jobs.ie.

“However, as a result of the various operational implications arising from social distancing practises in the workplace and the obvious financial losses suffered by many businesses to date, there remains high levels of uncertainty among employees as to if and when they might be able to return to work on a permanent basis. It is particularly telling that among those who have been professionally impacted by Covid-19, over 70pc are not confident that the changes to their jobs will ever be reversed.   

“This potentially suggests a breakdown in communications between employers and employees. It is important that employers maintain open channels of communication with their employees, providing them with regular updates on what each phase will mean for the business. In the current circumstances, clear communication and consistent contact by employers is vital to allay uncertainty and anxiety,” he added.

Industry breakdown

The research reveals those working in hotels (11pc), retail (9pc) and travel and tourism (6pc) have been most affected by the outbreak of coronavirus. 

Those within the hotel industry have been most affected by temporary job losses, with 66pc of employees in this sector experiencing some level of change. A further 16pc in the hotel industry say they were let go permanently.

“In the current circumstances, clear communication and consistent contact by employers is vital to allay uncertainty and anxiety”

Amongst those within the tourism and travel sector, 47pc of those who have been impacted by Covid-19 say they have been let go on a temporary basis. A further 33pc say they were let go permanently. 

For those working in the retail sector, 15pc said they lost their jobs permanently, while 41pc said that they have been let go temporarily.

My Paye continued; “Recruitment is down but not out. It is true certain sectors, such as tourism and hospitality, have borne the brunt of the lockdown while others, particularly food retail, logistics and healthcare have continued to recruit. 

“As we enter the summer months the steady reopening of the economy will bring fresh opportunities. On Jobs.ie we are already seeing an increase in job posting activity as employers begin to plan for leaving lockdown,” he concluded. 

Jobs.ie analysed the data collected from 668 respondents to a survey posted on the Jobs.ie website in May 2020.  

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 28 May, 2020