More than half of those questioned within the UK Jewish community say that employment or business worries during lockdown caused a negative impact on their mental health.


Work Avenue’s Covid Impact Survey – which questioned a cross-section of British Jews – saw 52% report having had such mental health worries.


Three quarters of British Jews surveyed also reported that their employment or business had suffered some kind of negative impact during the coronavirus pandemic, with only 25% avoiding any problems at all.


According to the Work Avenue findings, that has left 50% of people in a worse financial position than when the pandemic began, with only 10% reporting being better off.


The good news is that when asked how they were feeling about the year ahead in regards to their career or business, more British Jews said they were feeling optimistic (36%) or neutral (36%) than pessimistic (28%).


Work Avenue CEO Debbie Sheldon said: “These statistics are shocking, but not that surprising. Half of those we asked, within our Jewish community, are now financially worse off than before the pandemic and a similar number have struggled with mental health because of it.


“At Work Avenue, we have been busier than ever helping people find new jobs, retrain for new careers and set up or restructure their businesses. While these figures can make for grim reading, it’s important for everyone to know that help is out there.”


Laurie Rackind, Chief Executive of Jami, the Jewish Community’s mental health service added: “This pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and, for many of us, has had a detrimental effect on our mental health and wellbeing. Health and economic pressures combined with uncertainty and social restrictions have ensured that the mental health impact of Covid will be felt long after the physical threat disappears.


“Raising awareness and promoting conversations around mental health is a vital step to ensuring those who need support, will get it.”


Work Avenue is the Jewish community’s leading employment and business support organisation. The full findings of the Work Avenue Covid Impact Survey are:


Has your employment or business suffered any kind of negative impact during the pandemic?

Yes – 75%

No – 25%


Have employment/business worries caused a negative impact on your mental health during this time?           

Yes – 52%

No – 48%


Which of the following applies to you (note: could select more than one answer):

Employee: Job loss through redundancy – 15%

Employee: Job loss through another means – 6%

Employee: Reduction in hours – 7%

Employee: Reduction in pay – 6%

Employee: Furlough – 10%

Business Owner: Loss of clients/contracts – 21%

Business Owner: Reduction in revenue or fees – 22%

Business Owner: Closure of premises – 4%

Business Owner: Closure of business – 3%

Business Owner: Lay off staff – 3%

Early retirement due to Covid – 1%

None of the above – 35%


Have you needed, or do you think you will need, to retrain for a different career?

I have retrained – 7%

I am considering retraining – 32%

I have not needed to retrain – 61%


Have you received any of the following Government support over the last 8 months?

Historic benefits – 2%

Universal Credit – 8%

Furlough – 20%

Self Employed Income Support Scheme – 8%

Business schemes – 5%

Other – 6%

No support from Government – 51%


Would you say you are in a better, worse or the same financial position as before the pandemic?

Better – 10%

About the same – 40%

Worse – 50%


How do you feel about the year ahead when it comes to your career/business?

Optimistic – 36%

Pessimistic – 28%

Neither – 36%