• results point to justified concern among workers, according to Randstad.
  • urgent need for private and public sector collaboration to reskill employees and reduce mass global unemployment.

More than half of workers globally fear they could lose their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, according to research carried out for Randstad, the world’s largest HR services company.

According to the research conducted in May, 64% of employees say COVID-19 has negatively impacted their job security while 54% say they expect to lose their jobs if their employer is negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Only about half of the workers polled, 52%, believe their employer would help them find a new job if they were furloughed from their current one and just 33% say they believe they could rely on government support if they became unemployed.

upended norms and expectations

The results highlight a growing anxiety among workers that, according to Randstad, is justified. 

“Government schemes in many countries around the world have temporarily protected a large number of jobs. However, this is not sustainable and it’s clear that many jobs that existed before COVID-19, are not coming back. Among the work that may eventually return, it could take years to reach pre-outbreak levels,” says Jacques van den Broek, CEO of Randstad.

“The pandemic has upended many market norms and expectations. More than ever, workers need to learn new skills to fit into evolving businesses. To reduce mass global unemployment, private and public sectors will have to collaborate more closely than ever to help the temporarily displaced from becoming permanently displaced. Reskilling is no longer a tool for career advancement but for survival.”

As part of its efforts to address the impact of COVID-19, Randstad has committed to reskilling at least 40,000 workers in the United States and 10,000 in the Netherlands.

wellbeing during the pandemic

Although a large proportion of employees (63%) believe that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their work, at the same time, the vast majority (83%) say they have adapted to the challenges of the new working situation and have been equipped by their employers (79%) to do their jobs digitally. 

75% of workers say that they feel their employers are taking care of their wellbeing during the pandemic, including investing in digital tools and training (65%) and being flexible about work hours (73%) to facilitate a better balance between work and family obligations. 

Still, 61% say their employer expect them to be available outside of normal work hours.

about the randstad workmonitor

The Workmonitor COVID-19 edition is assessing the overall impact of the coronavirus crisis on the workforce.

This study was carried out online among employees aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). Minimum sample size is 400 interviews for each market, based on panels from Dynata.

The special edition survey was conducted from 7 to 22 May 2020 in 15 markets.

about randstad

Randstad is a global talent leader with the vision to be the world’s most equitable and specialized talent company. As a partner for talent and through our four specializations - Operational, Professional, Digital and Enterprise - we provide clients with the high-quality, diverse and agile workforces that they need to succeed in a talent scarce world. We help people secure meaningful roles, develop relevant skills and find purpose and belonging in their workplace. Through the value we create, we are committed to a better and more sustainable future for all. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Randstad operates in 39 markets and has approximately 40,000 employees. In 2023, we supported 2 million talent to find work and generated a revenue of €25.4 billion. Randstad N.V. is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam. For more information, see www.randstad.com.

for more information

Elise Martin-Davies
+31 (0)6 1322 5136