Employers are being advised to be as "empathetic as possible" as an increasing number are forced to make people redundant.

Sue Kaveney, who runs Kaveney HR Solutions in Carlisle, said since the coronavirus crisis hit she had been dealing with an increasing number of clients which were making staff redundant.

"There are sectors that are still unable to open because of the lockdown and have had to take action because they have not got a definitive date and there is no funding that allows them to keep going," she said.

"In other sectors they are very mindful and nervous of the end of the furlough scheme and the cost of having to pay for staff."

Those who did have to make job cuts should consider the feelings and needs of workers as much as possible - which could include having a face to face meeting rather than giving them the bad news online.

"It's about getting the process right and being as empathetic as possible," she said.

Employers should also make use of employee assistance programmes to support people if they could and try and help them towards finding further work.

As well as helping firms with the redundancy process, Sue also works with people who have lost their jobs.

She said workers who been made redundant after a long time in one role - and a long time away from the property market - could find it hard to adjust to new ways of applying for jobs.

"A lot of recruitment is online and via Zoom or Teams," she said.

"A lot of people have never had that experience. An interview that's not face to face can be really difficult for people."

She said there was also "a mammoth" number of people applying for jobs, with roles that may normally attract a handful of jobseekers instead getting as many as 50 applications.

However, those looking to recruit at the moment were in the minority and the reduction in staff numbers was leading to further redundancies among finance, admin and human resources staff.

She said those out of work should not rely purely on looking for positions that were advertised but try and find work via contacts.

"It's often who you know," she said.