Internal restructuring
United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Health / Social Work
Human Health Services And Activities
Human Health Activities
86.90 - Other human health activities

6,000 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
10 August 2020
Employment effect (start)
24 August 2020
Foreseen end date


The coronavirus ‘test and trace’ service of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has announced that it will cut 6,000 contact tracer jobs, a third of the current workforce, because a new approach to contact tracing is being adopted, replacing the current centralised system.  

The Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace said the current system used to contact people who are at risk of having contracted the new coronavirus had been built to ensure that it had extra capacity and reducing its size was  a 'planned next step' in tackling the virus.

Regional and local leaders of the public health system in England were critical of the current system from the start and some employees had told the media that they felt untrained and did not have enough work to do.

NHS Test and Trace was established in May 2020. It is an outsourced service provided to the National Health Service in England, to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.



Eurofound (2020), NHS Test and Trace, Internal restructuring in United Kingdom, factsheet number 101915, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/101915.