Osborne Chief Executive, Shona McManus.
A survey of Irish business leaders, carried out by Drogheda-based recruitment firm Osborne and published today, indicates that while 93% are supportive of the Government’s actions, a huge number (45%) are fearful of the lasting impact the Covid-19 virus will have on their mental health and survival in business.
The survey found that businesses responded to the Government’s package of support measures with an overwhelming positivity, despite 55% being very worried about the survival of their business post-crisis. 64% said that the virus will permanently change the way their business operates in the future, with some companies feeling that working from home is more cost effective.
A key finding of the survey was that 22% of businesses have let staff go owing to the crisis and 68% of firms that had plans to recruit more staff have put these on hold.
Osborne’s Chief Executive and owner Shona McManus said; ‘’Aside from the results of the survey, we got a huge amount of informal feedback and concern from employers seeking the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Payment for employees. They were very shocked to discover that their names and addresses will be published on the Revenue website if they receive the payment, which is a counterproductive approach for businesses desperately seeking hold on to their staff and survive at this time.’’
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Almost two thirds of businesses (62%) reported a reduction in business activity while 30% have had to reduce working hours for their company. Of the employers who have offered the Pandemic Unemployment Support Payment, 71% are not in a position to top this up.
Commenting on these results, Shona said; ‘’while some sectors are under pressure, we at Osborne have continued to help our clients recruit new staff, especially in the ICT, medical device, food production, essential and online retail and healthcare sectors. Our advice to employers is to see the opportunities, continue to recruit and ensure you have the right people on-board to bounce back.’’
Shona went on to say; ‘’our survey showed that businesses are seeking liquidity from a range of sources, including personal funds (15%), bank loans (21%), overdrafts (21%) and corporate headquarters (10%). This survey has also shown that the business community has shown great levels of fortitude and courage at this difficult time. However, I am very concerned about the long term effects this will have on people’s mental health. I would appeal to the Government to look at providing greater supports in this area as 45% of business leaders reported being very worried about their mental health as a result of the business downturn.’’
Of almost all businesses canvassed, 46% found banks helpful while 54% found them unhelpful when seeking to engage on a range of issues.
The survey of 900 business leaders was conducted over three days from Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th March 2020.
Osborne is an Irish owned, multi award-winning Recruitment Consultancy with offices across Ireland and in Toronto. The firm operates across seven key areas namely accountancy & finance, office & secretarial, executive, healthcare, technical & engineering and IT. They have clients in the public, healthcare, food, construction, pharmaceutical and not for profit sectors.
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