A LAW firm in Carlisle is seeing a surge in appeals for legal advice relating to redundancies post-coronavirus.

Cumbria Law Centre has reported a concerning rise in redundancy and job insecurity following the enforced lockdown, which has dealt a financial blow to many businesses.

The warning signs came at the beginning of lockdown, said head of centre Peter Moran. “There was a stage during lockdown where there was a lot of people that wanted information but they didn’t need help or representation at that point.

“Through much of April and May we were giving a lot of information and guidance to people.”

He added that the firm is now seeing the expected job cuts.

“In the last three weeks or so we’ve seen that significant rise in calls for help.”

Cumbria Law Centre, on Spencer Street, Carlisle, is a not-for-profit company and has tried to prioritise those who are most in need during the period of high demand.

“We try to support people on the lowest incomes.”

The issue is systemic as the UK suffers an economic downturn.

Mr Moran said: “We’ve seen people from all sectors – hospitality, retail construction, maintenance. What’s true of them all is the people who are most likely to be made redundant are the people it’s easiest to make redundant, the people that have been there a shorter period of time or on lower wages.”

The reopening of society might lead to further cuts as businesses restructure, Mr Moran went on. “It seems very likely to use that there will be a significant number of jobs in peril in the next six months."

The legal advice centre has itself been forced to adapt in the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Moran said: “We’ve done what most people have done and moved as much of our service onto the phone as possible.

“It is important to us that we can resume face-to-face work with our clients, particularly the more vulnerable clients who might need someone to sit with them. There are some people who need that contact and support so that’s been a challenge.”

He added that home working during the most strict lockdown restrictions has brought the team closer together.

The Cumbria Law Centre is available on 01228 515129.