The contents of this article are for general information purposes only and does not constitute as legal advice. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
If you’ve been told that your company is making redundancies, or that redundancies may be on the horizon, it can be a worrying time. Especially with a difficult job market caused by a global pandemic, the possibility of being made redundant can be an overwhelming prospect.
Many businesses are facing an uncertain time at the moment and many are having to make tough decisions to cut costs to help keep their business afloat. It’s worth being prepared for every eventuality so you can help ease the pressure and panic if job loss does come your way. Here are 6 practical things you can do to take control and be ready for redundancy:
1. Do a review of your finances
Without a regular income, it’s easy to feel like your money might ‘run out’. To put your mind at ease while your employer is making their redundancy decisions, you could consider how to manage your money more carefully and ways you can make it last as long as possible if you do find yourself out of work.
If you don’t already have a set monthly budget, now’s a good time to take a look at your incomings and outgoings, review your Direct Debits and think about any subscriptions that you may be able to live without for a while. Have a read of our budgeting article for tips on creating a budget that works for you.
2. Check how much redundancy pay you could be entitled to
Spend some time looking at the main types of redundancy payment you could be entitled to. Once you’ve reviewed your finances and worked out how much money you could receive if you are made redundant, you can start to form a plan.
For example, you could consider paying yourself a ‘salary’ while you’re out of work, which takes into account the amount of redundancy pay you have received and your expected monthly outgoings. You could also allocate some of the money to a savings fund, which could help to cover any unexpected costs in the short term, or improve your financial situation in the long term if you don’t need to make a withdrawal from this ‘emergency fund’.
It's also worth thinking about whether you'd like to invest your spare time and money in upskilling through online courses. With so many options for online learning, it's a great opportunity to find out more about a different industry, or simply add new skills to your CV to help you land your next role.
3. Know where you can get help
There are lots of places that can offer free, independent advice about your money, or your mental health. You can find the contact details for these service on our dedicated redundancy page.
If there’s anything that you think we may be able to help with, you can give us a call on 03 456 100 188. We are here to support you, whenever you’re ready to discuss your options, 24/7.
4. Find out what benefits you are entitled to
You might be entitled to government benefits Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] and tax credits Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] if you are made redundant. The amount you could get depends on your individual circumstances, but the main benefit you can claim after redundancy is the new-style Jobseeker’s Allowance Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] (Universal Credit Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] may also be an option for you).
Once you’ve claimed, these benefits can take a few weeks to come into your account. By doing your research before redundancy happens to you, you’ll be ready to apply – so you can receive the money you need as soon as possible.
5. Take steps to reduce your debt
It’s important to understand the money you owe and what implications different lending facilities have. Talking to your creditors (the people you owe) and explaining your circumstances is always a good idea.
If you’re struggling to feel in control of your debts, it’s always best to talk to someone as soon as it becomes a problem. Remember, we’re here 24/7 to discuss your options and how we can support you while you take steps to reduce your debt. Simply call us on 03 456 100 188.
6. Update your CV and covering letter
It might have been a while since you last updated your CV. You’ve probably picked up a few new skills, and you might have met some people you’d like to connect with on LinkedIn, too.
In preparation for redundancy, spend a bit of time thinking about what roles you’d like to apply for if you do lose your current job. What skills do you have? What skills do you need? Would you like to take this opportunity to try something completely new?
Speaking to recruiters can be a good way of finding out about upcoming opportunities, so you can get your application in before you’ve officially been made redundant by your current employer.
With all the uncertainty of potential redundancy, it’s easy to forget to check in with how you’re actually feeling about the whole thing. The truth is, you’re definitely not alone if the thought of being out of work makes you anxious. And you don’t have to feel guilty if you want to turn this sudden change into a positive, by taking the opportunity to try a new career altogether. It’s ok to feel whatever you’re feeling right now.
Remember, being made redundant is a business decision, not a personal one. The best thing you can do is try to take control of what you can. While it’s tempting to turn to the internet for answers and advice, you can often find yourself tangled in too much information. It could be more helpful to open up to your friends and family about the things that are worrying you, and the things that you’re looking forward to. As the people who know you better than anyone else, they’ll probably have some good advice and ideas about what you could or should do next.