The Prime Minister made the plea during his daily update about the virus – and promised new measures would be announced tomorrow.
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He said: "I want businesses to stick by employees as we're going to stick by them.
"As we come through this difficult economic phase… everyone said in 2008 we bailed out the banks and didn't look after you this time will be different.
"We're going to really make sure to look after the people who suffer economic consequences of what were asking them, we're going to look after the people first."
He added: "I hope you stick by your employees, because we're all going to need them."
"…think very carefully before you start laying off your staff.
"We do want to make sure people recognise, they should stand behind their employees, we in the government are going to stand behind British firms."
The Prime Minister then added that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak would be announcing a new package of support for workers and businesses tomorrow.
He also insisted that the UK could beat coronavirus in 12 weeks.
Up to 800,000 in the UK business goes go bust due to the virus.
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Earlier this week Laura Ashley announced it was going into administration putting 2,700 jobs at risk.
Virgin Atlantic has asked staff to take unpaid leave, while Tui today confirmed that it will be cutting wages.
Last week new measures to help pay workers from day one of sick leave instead of four were announced by the government.
It follows a similar call from the new Bank of England governor earlier today.
Andrew Bailey told worried bosses to "talk to us" about emergency funding before panicking and firing workers.
He said “everything was on the table” to prevent more than a million job losses and save the economy.
Declaring the coronavirus outbreak a “financial emergency”, he said: “We are living in unparalleled times in terms of what’s happened in the last week — the closing of borders, the reduction of internal movement, measures preventing people going about their daily lives, with good reason.
"All that, of course, has an effect on the economy and we’ve seen this. It’s manifest all around us.
“Everything is on the table that is reasonable, within the policy tool set.
“We will do what it takes to meet the needs of the economy and the people of this country.”
That includes printing money for businesses and workers under a process called quantitative easing.
The Bank of England cut rates again today for the second time in two weeks, slashing it down to 0.01 per cent.
We explain what to do if you do lose your job.
If you're worried about taking time off work then we've also rounded up your rights to sick pay.
More to follow…
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