2020 has been a really tough year for everyone. The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way the world works and for many businesses, both large and small this unfortunately means job losses. In the UK, as the governments furlough scheme officially comes to an end in march next year there will be many people facing the harsh reality of redundancy. Losing your job can be one of the most stressful things to go through in life and it can be really difficult to come to terms with. We’ve put together 5 top tips to help you know what to do if you’re facing redundancy. From knowing your rights, to dealing with the anxiety it brings with it this step by step guide has everything you need to know.
1. Know your rights when facing redundancy
First things first, if you’re facing redundancy it’s important to know your rights. There are certain things that you are entitled to when going through the redundancy process, being aware of these and knowing what to do if the correct procedures aren’t followed will ensure that you are treated fairly.
You have the right to a fair process
Redundancy happens when your company no longer requires your job role. It is not about you and is not the same as being ‘sacked’ or ‘fired’. Your employer must be fair and objective when making the decision on which job roles to make redundant and they must be open and transparent about how the roles at risk have been selected.
You have the right to a minimum notice period.
This is the amount of time you will have to work between being told your role is being made redundant and your last working day. It will mean that you are paid for this period. Your minimum notice period will depend on how long you have worked with the company.
You will be entitled to:
1 weeks notice if you have been employed for anything between 1 month and 2 years.
1 weeks notice for each year if you have been employed for anything between 2 years and 12 years
12 weeks notice if you have been employed with the company for 12 years or more.
You should check your employment contract because this is the minimum notice period and you could be entitled to more if stated there.
Pay in lieu of notice or garden leave
Your employer can decide that they don’t want you to work your notice period but in this case, they can offer you pay in lieu of notice (a lump sum payment that will be taxed in the same way as your normal pay) or garden leave where you will still be employed with the company until the last day of your notice but you will not have to fulfil your duties. On garden leave you can be called back and can’t start a new job until your last day.
You have the right to consultation
This means that your employer must give you the chance to ask any questions about the redundancy process and allow you to raise objections. The employer will have to consider any alternatives to redundancy, look at how they can reduce the number of redundancies which are made and look at how they can reduce the subsequent adversities on employees. This is your chance to raise suggestions on how your job could be saved so if you have any ideas be brave and bring them up. You have nothing to lose by making a suggestion.
You have the right to time off to look for work
Not many people know about this one but it can make a huge difference to your new job search. If you’ve worked continuously for your employer for at least two years you’re entitled up to 40% of a week’s pay to cover your time off. For instance, if you normally work five days a week you can take up to two days off to look for work and attend interviews and your employer will have to pay you for this time.
2. How to deal with your money worries when facing redundancy
The thought of being out of a job and losing your income can be extremely daunting but there are things you can do to manage your money. Firstly, you might be entitled to redundancy pay. If you are lucky this could see you through until you find a new job.
Am I entitled to redundancy pay?
If you have worked for the same company for 2 years or more you will be entitled to redundancy pay. Statutory redundancy pay is the legal minimum your employer must pay you but if stated in your contract you could be entitled to more than this.
Calculating redundancy pay
Statutory redundancy pay will be based on your age, salary and length of service. Here’s what you could be entitled to:
If you are under 22 – half a week’s pay for each year of service
If you are between 22 & 40 – a week’s pay for each year of service
If you are over 41 – a week and a half’s pay for each year of service
The maximum amount you’re entitled to receive is capped at £16,140.
It’s also worth noting that furloughed workers should receive redundancy pay based on their normal salary and not the amount they were paid during furlough.
What benefits am I entitled to after redundancy?
If you have lost your job you could be entitled to some benefits while you are out of work such as job seekers allowance, housing and childcare benefits. Often there is a stigma around ‘signing on’ but you shouldn’t feel ashamed these benefits are there specifically to help people who find themselves out of work. When it comes to how much you’ll get, everyone is different and your claim will be based on your own unique situation so it’s worth seeking advice from the money advice service or directly from the government website.
Managing your money after redundancy
Unfortunately facing redundancy isn’t always easy on your finances and often means difficult decisions have to be made when it comes to budgets and cutting back. Take a look at your essential and non-essential costs to help find ways to reduce your spending. You’ll find more helpful advice on this here.
3. Coping with mental strain of redundancy
If you’re faced with redundancy it can take a huge toll on your mental wellbeing.
Don’t take it personally
You should try to remember that redundancy isn’t personal. It’s not about you or your abilities, recognising this can help you to cope better and prevent your confidence from taking the hit which will make it much easier when it comes to getting back out there.
The uncertainty of not knowing what’s next can be the worst part of facing redundancy, especially since the pandemic makes everything so unpredictable. Try to focus on the things you can control rather than the things you can’t. Doing little things to help your situation such as updating your cv can give you a sense of purpose and make you feel much better about the situation.
Look after your mental wellbeing
There are many things you can do to take care of your mental health. Exercise, mindfulness, self-care rituals and talking to someone you trust can all help.
Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org/ – Call 116 123 for free
If you’re feeling alone, know that there are plenty of other people out there going through the same thing as you. Reading the stories of people who were in a similar situation to you could be the inspiration you need. You’ll find some very inspiring stories in our room of hope .
4. Improve your skills
Now is a great time to start learning something new or improve your existing skills. Think about the jobs you’d like to get, what qualifications do they require? What skills could you improve? Using the time in between jobs to complete courses and improve your skills is a great use of time and employers will admire your proactive approach.
Don’t forget about soft skills, especially if you are considering a change of career or don’t know what it is you’d like to do next. Nearly every job there is will require good communication and these skills could even help you get a job over someone else. You’ll find thousands of bitesize training videos on Learnflix where you can learn from the best trainers and coaches in the industry. Or if you’re missing interacting with others our virtual masterclasses are a great way to learn new skills whilst meeting other like minded people – all from the comfort of your home. We’ll be running some free sessions there too.
5. Starting your job search
The first thing to do here should be to update your cv, make sure you have your most recent job experience on there and highlight any new skills you have acquired. Think about your transferrable skills too. That’s things like presentation skills, influencing skills, leadership skills, time management. These will be more important than ever and it’s important you highlight them to potential employers.
You’ll also want to consider your next move, are you happy in your career? Would you like a career change? What jobs are currently desired? Can you take on temporary work while you’re searching for your next big move? Maybe you have the option to go for an internal role at your current company. Once you have assessed your position and priorities get yourself out there, speak to recruiters, apply to roles on job sites such as indeed.com and keep on trying. Your next big break is just around the corner.