MORE than half of businesses in the region expect to make redundancies due to Covid-19, a survey has revealed.

And 87 per cent are braced for a second lockdown.

The Yorkshire Finance Director Survey polled more than 60 finance heads about how the recent lockdown had impacted their firms.

Forty-three per cent of respondents expected to escape without redundancies, whilst just over one-third anticipated laying-off up to ten per cent of their workforce.

Two-thirds of those polled indicated that they expected 2020 revenues to be significantly below target by the end of the year, with only ten per cent expecting revenues to be ahead of projections.

In total, 87 per cent believed that a second lockdown was likely in late 2020 or early 2021.

The survey was carried out by Woodrow Mercer Finance.

Its managing partner, James Roach, said: “The vast majority of Yorkshire businesses haven’t seen much bad debt to date – which is obviously good – and, thankfully, three quarters of the finance directors we surveyed think that less than one in ten of all businesses will fail in the recession.

“Finding positives in the results isn’t easy though, and there is a general feeling that we haven’t seen the end of the disruption from the pandemic.

“On the brighter side, over 79 per cent of businesses say employees have been able to work effectively under lockdown, and 75 per cent are planning to adopt new working practices as a result of the forced change in practices since March.”

Job seekers will have to get used to changes in future hiring processes too, he said, with increased vetting of CVs and background checks by almost a quarter of firms; a keener focus on candidates who could demonstrate self-motivation and organisational skills was cited by 59 per cent, and one in ten firms were increasing the use of recruitment professionals to improve their new remote hiring processes.

Almost nine out of ten of the finance directors stated that they had taken advantage of the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, with a further 18 per cent having applied for coronavirus business interruption loans, and one in five had also received a Bounce Back loan. Mr Roach said: “The silver lining for the economy is that we’ve adapted to working effectively from home.”