Made redundant? Here’s how to cope
Losing your job can be one of the hardest challenges you’ll ever face. You can find yourself struggling with overwhelming emotions and destroyed confidence. But don’t despair - there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Here’s how.
1. Try not to take it personally
This is often the most important thing to remember when you’re made redundant. Especially now, with so many companies cutting jobs because of the pandemic, the overwhelming likelihood is that it’s not you.
Regardless of the situation, there are always positives you can draw from it. The fact that you’ve lost your job is less important than how you deal with it.
2. Know your rights
Before you make any decisions, check your contract and find out what you’re entitled to. The law requires employers to follow strict guidelines when making anyone redundant. These include:
- A written explanation of why they’re letting you go
- At least a week’s notice if you’ve had the job for between a month and two years
- 30 days’ notice to union representatives if they’re making 20-99 redundancies
- 90 days’ notice to union reps for over 100 redundancies
- Try to find you alternative work at the company if possible.
- If your employer has to be selective about redundancies, they’ll consider various factors including qualifications, experience, competence, and disciplinary and attendance records.
Did they skip any of these steps? You could have the right to appeal for unfair dismissal. If you feel that you haven’t been properly consulted or fairly compensated, or that you’ve been discriminated against, you can take the case to an employment tribunal.
3. Claim your redundancy pay
If you’ve been with the company for at least two years, you’re entitled to redundancy pay, plus a written explanation of how it was calculated. The amount you receive will depend on your age and years with the company. If the company can’t afford to pay you, the Redundancy Payments Office may step in and pay it.
You can use Directgov’s online calculator to find out more about the redundancy pay you’re entitled to.
4. Plan your finances
If you do get a redundancy payment, plan how you’ll make it stretch so you have plenty of time to look for work. Work out how much you spend per month and create a budget. This will also give you an idea of how long you have to find a new role.
Remember you’re also entitled to claim benefits like Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance. Visit your local Jobcentre+ to find out more.
5. Look for work
The first thing to do when looking for work is to update your CV. What skills and achievements from your previous role can you add? Don’t stop at just adding the dates and a few tasks. Think about how to use your qualities and accomplishments throughout your CV, not only to showcase practical evidence of your career development , but also to show that you’re a rounded candidate.
As well as freshening up your CV, write a specifically tailored cover letter for each role you apply for.
If possible, ask your employer if they’d consider keeping you on with reduced hours or reduced pay while you look for a new position.
Looking for a job does not have to be your full-time job. Jobhunting for eight hours a day can get very exhausting and depressing very fast.
Network! Tell anyone you know in your industry that you’re looking for work. You might be surprised what your contacts can come up with.
Tell your friends and family. They’ll want to support you – and some of them will undoubtedly have been there.
Don’t be ashamed or start doubting yourself. Redundancy is not a reflection of your work – it can and does happen to anyone.
If you need some free professional advice, contact Acas or your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Turn a negative into a positive: this could be the perfect opportunity for a change of direction or a step up in your career.