The changes taking place in the UK were unforeseen, and the country keeps managing to surprise everyone by doing better than the predictions that have been put out by various statistical organizations, about their unemployment rate. While there were predictions that the unemployment rate in the UK would touch close to 6% after several months of the pandemic, it stayed stable at 3.9% for the longest time, increasing very insignificantly to 4.1% in August, which is a lot lower than was assumed.
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Most economists expect unemployment to continue rising for the rest of the year and believe that the economy will only begin stabilizing by the end of 2021. Multiple scenarios published by the government’s spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, give an official view of their prediction. They stated that in its optimistic scenario, the unemployment rate peaks at 9.7% this year, and returns to pre-crisis levels in 2022. In its least optimistic scenario, it peaks at 13.2%, in 2021, with four million people out of work.
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To mitigate the issue of unemployment, the Government decided that it might make sense to open up the economy and market slightly in August, a decision they took after measuring the risks and benefits. They were walking a fine line knowing full well that there was a possibility that this could lead to the second wave of the pandemic. It was a decision that they had to take where they were balancing the likelihood of people getting sick on one side and the possibility of an economic collapse on the other. In the initial days of the decision, people were not open to the decision seeing how the country dealt with the first wave of the pandemic however as time passed, people began to be a little more in favor of the decision.
A little more than a month after the gradual lifting of the lockdown, the number of infections in the UK began rising, and it seemed that the country was, as predicted, going down the lane of the second wave of the pandemic. However, the Government did not plan on shutting everything down immediately and thought that they would give it some time and implement a few more rules and changes to allow people to prevent the spread of getting worse. While they were ready to stop everything, it did not seem like the best solution.
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There was a ban on mass gatherings as much as possible with people not planning on leaving their homes unnecessarily. Remote working started catching up, and most companies that could adapt to it were also handling their meeting, whether internal or client meetings online, through virtual conferencing, which was a significant change that they were facing.
Employers were not sure how they would deal with these changes in the initial stages since there were a lot of people within their companies they had not met in person in the past, which was the primary reason behind background checks catching up in the UK. Most companies were now handling background checks on their employees, and it was slowing turning into a requirement when hiring. They had two routes that this could go, through the DBS check or the CRB check which depended on the amount of information that they needed on the person. Additionally, they could review the DBS certificate online, which made it a more convenient option.