NatWest Sees Rise in SMEs Seeking Advice on Toughest Business Decisions

  • Covid-19
  • 08.12.2020 01:20 pm

NatWest has published data today that shows a marked increase throughout 2020 in small businesses seeking advice on redundancy, furlough and absence, in the wake of coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions.

Mentor, the high street bank’s HR and Health and Safety advice service, reports that 49% of the calls it received this year were related to staff redundancies, and 33% were related to furlough - meaning that 4 out of 5 calls it took in 2020 were from businesses looking for support on their employment challenges. The service received 20% more calls overall in 2020, compared with 2019.

This data follows national findings published in November by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that showed redundancies at their highest level since 2009; today’s stats from NatWest show this impact also been acutely felt by small businesses across the UK.

Ian Cumby, Mentor CEO, NatWest, said: “This data shows how challenging a year it has been for the UK’s small businesses and their people. The fact that our teams have spent most of the year dealing with enquiries from businesses either shrinking their business, or temporarily furloughing their team is sobering. 

It’s encouraging to see that as the year has progressed and some optimism returns the economic outlook, we have seen calls return to their normal levels and variance, and we’re proud to have been able to offer business owners this support through a tough period. 

As many more choose to become an entrepreneur or start their own business for the first time, Mentor will be here to support them with the advice and guidance, regardless of what they face throughout 2021 and beyond.”

NatWest’s Mentor service offers HR and Health and Safety and Environment consultancy and support to the bank’s 1 million UK business customers across multiple sectors. NatWest also offers free access to Mentor Live, a digital platform that provides a range of tools to allow businesses to remain compliant with employment legislation.

Related News