A report from EFCA (the European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations) has revealed that companies are largely managing to retain staff in the face of extremely challenging business conditions brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.
Responses from 20 of EFCA’s 28 national associations show that 60% of companies surveyed said there had been no changes to permanent staff, while only 5% said they have had to make permanent layoffs “to a large extent”.
While a quarter of respondents said they had given a significant number of staff members temporary leave, 10% said all or almost all staff had been furloughed (either paid or unpaid).
Regarding new orders, 35% of respondents said they had fallen “to a large extent”, while 5% said there had either been no new orders are almost none, since measures were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
On the question of projects, 65% of respondents said they had “to some extent” lost project work. A quarter said they had lost projects “to a large extent”, while 5% said all or almost all of their project work had been lost.
More than half (55%) of the 20 national associations of EFCA that responded to the survey reported that export business in January had been affected “to a large extent” by the crisis, compared with January 2019. A further 15% said their export market had completely dried up.
The associations also reported that domestic private sector work was significantly affected in January, with 65% saying the market had deteriorated “to a large extent”.