HR · 27 January 2022

How has COVID-19 affected payroll?


  • Despite a monthly increase of 1.8 million cases of coronavirus in December ’21 compared to November ’21, payroll increased by 106,000
  • Since March 2021, payroll has consistently grown by at least 66,000
  • During 2020, cases of coronavirus had a direct and negative impact on payroll
Payroll experts, Staffology have investigated the statistics of the coronavirus pandemic, discovering how the vaccine saved the UK’s job market, and how various lockdowns and restrictions impacted the number of coronavirus cases and people on payroll.

The first national lockdown from March to the end of May controlled the virus regarding rates of infection, however the economic impact saw turbulence in payroll. Despite the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or furlough as it was more commonly known, April 2020 saw the largest amount of month-on-month job losses in the entire pandemic, with 408,000 less people enrolled on payroll. May saw another 92,000 fewer people on payroll, meaning that in a two month period, half a million people had potentially lost their jobs.



As the pandemic continued, cases of coronavirus were still being managed relatively well with the change in monthly figures never exceeding +100,000, and May to July seeing a constant decline in rates. As furlough, or the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS), wound down, payroll numbers took another large hit of -156,000. The following month then saw a change of +115,500 coronavirus cases (likely due to the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme), and then +422,000 in October, supported by the amount of people on payroll reducing each month, which made August to October the most economically deadly months at that point in the pandemic. It was then, when cases of coronavirus peaked, payroll numbers spiralled.

The government’s second lockdown in November then began to control the virus again and saw the first positive change in payroll for three months, along with a relatively small increase in covid rates of 27,000 cases. When the lockdown was ended after just a month though, cases skyrocketed by 392,000 and payroll saw a decrease of 80,500.



Digital PR and Outreach Executive, MrsDigital+

HR & Employment