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Will tsunamis of redundancies create a new wave of flexible workers?

As the furlough scheme comes to an end, the economy is bracing itself for record breaking job losses, but new opportunities are emerging in different parts of the labour market.


“In May, I predicted the UK was facing a tsunami of job losses when the furlough scheme ends, and the latest ONS figures suggest the wave is set to crash through the economy this autumn,” said James Reed, Chairman of REED, receives 40 million job applications a year. “The good news is that job opportunities are remerging. Over 128,000 new jobs were added onto in August – a 7.5% month-on-month increase – and opportunities increased in nearly all the sectors featured on the site.”


The unemployment rate has risen to 4.1% with 62,000 more people out of work – up 0.2% over the last three months.


Quantum of solace

While many workers coming off furlough may face an uncertain future, many will be joining the ranks of the ‘Quantum Employed’. One in seven workers in the UK job market are on flexible contracts, up 25% in the last two decades. Across the pond, more than 1 in 3 Americans (59 million) have freelanced in the last year.


Expected growth in the flexible workforce is creating new tech challenges and opportunities for recruitment, RPO and umbrella firms.


“The most defining accounting feature of Quantum Employment is the level of granularity from which payroll professionals can work, from the units of time on worksheets, to the individual tax and benefits circumstances of each worker,” observes John Whelan, CEO of My Digital. “With work requirements varying as fast as hour-by-hour, they need to get deep into big data. Only applications built with Quantum Employment in mind can hope to keep track of the rate of change in the post COVID digital workplace."


My Digital’s Quantum Employment Design (QED) suite of SaaS products was designed specifically in the Northern Powerhouse for the UK economy’s new workforce made increasingly of quantum employees working and contracting on a part or flexi-time basis.


“Digital workforces constantly change and challenge employers with problems and complexities that rise with scale,” adds John Whelan. “Modern employers, including direct employers, umbrella companies, recruiters, lead contractors and Professional Employer Organisations (PEOs) need real time information on workers’ time, money and tax status.” 


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